The Holiness of the Church in the Nineteenth Century – Blessed Dominic Henares and Blessed Francis Chien

detail of painting of Saint Domingo Henares de Zafra Cubero, date and artist unknown; swiped from Santi e BeatiArticle

The Blessed Dominic Henares, a Spaniard, began his labors in Tonkin during 1790 and after 1803 was coadjutor of the Blessed Ignatius Delgado, vicar-apostolic of Tonkin. During the reign of the persecutor of the Christians, Minh-Menh, he was thrown into prison along with his catechist, Blessed Francis Chien, and the owner of the house in which he lived. Unfortunately the last mentioned denied his Faith while on the rack.

But the catechist was all the more steadfast, though they scourged him so terribly that strips of flesh were torn out of his body, and then they flung him upon a seat studded with sharp-pointed nails. The judge was amazed to find that the sentence of death was received by both the martyrs with the greatest joy. Their execution, which occurred on 25 June 1838, reminds us of Sixtus and Laurence. A great crowd of the people gathered to see it, and while the heathens wondered at the joy of the confessors, the weeping Christians were consoled by the martyrs themselves. Three soldiers who had been imprisoned for their Faith were brought to the place of execution that they might be intimidated at the bloody spectacle. But the contrary happened, for they cried out to the bishop: “Father, when you have come to heaven forget not to pray for us,” and later they, too, obtained the martyr’s palm. How great was the childlike piety of the bishop and his desire for martyrdom may be seen in a letter sent many years before to a little cousin in Spain, begging her to offer up his desire to God for him. He believed that such a prayer from the innocent heart of a child could not be left unheard and his hope was not in vain.

MLA Citation

  • Father Constantine Kempf, SJ. “Blessed Dominic Henares and Blessed Francis Chien”. The Holiness of the Church in the Nineteenth Century: Saintly Men and Women of Our Own Times, 1916. CatholicSaints.Info. 23 September 2018. Web. 5 August 2020. <>