St Theophane Venard

  • Celebrated on

Saint Of The Day

Priest and martyr. The son of a French schoolmaster, St Theophane was born in 1829 in Saint-Loup sur-Thouet. He joined the Society of Foreign Missionaries of Paris and after his ordination was sent to Tonkin (Vietnam). This was a time when Christians were being violently persecuted in the country. He was forced to live in hiding, moving from place to place sleeping in caves and sampans.

In 1861 he was finally arrested and imprisoned in a bamboo cage before being beheaded for his faith.

Theophane's letters and his example inspired the young Theresa of Lisieux to volunteer for the Carmelite convent in Hanoi.

In 1865 his body was returned to his congregation's church in Paris, but his head remains in Tonkin. He was beatified with 19 other martyrs from Vietnam in 1909, and canonised in 1988.