Blessed Martin Lumbreras Sanchez Perez Peralta and Melchiorre Sanchez, Augustinian Priests and Martyrs
+ Nagasaki, Japan, December 11, 1632
Spanish Blessed Martin of St. Nicholas Lumbreras Peralta, professed priest of the Order of Augustinian Recollects, was Martyred with his brother Melchior of Saint Augustine Sanchez just arrived in the Japanese city of Nagasaki, were closed in a dark cell, and then burnt. John Paul II beatified them April 23, 1989.
Roman Martyrology: At Nagasaki in Japan, and Melchiorre Blessed Martin Lumbreras Peralta Sánchez Pérez, Priests and Martyrs of the Order of Saint Augustine, who just arrived in this city were arrested and thrown into a dark cell, and finally burned at the stake.
Martin was born in Zaragoza Lumbreras a noble family in 1598. He took the habit of an Augustinian convent in Recollet Borja, taking vows in Zaragoza in 1619. Three years later, in July, 1622, he set out from Cadiz to the islands of the Philippines, where he arrived the following year, accompanied by thirteen Augustinian Recollect missionaries. Led to the withdrawal was particularly cloistered and his superiors assigedn him to the convent of Manila, in the first place as sacristan major, then for a period of eight years as novice master. In recent years, he greatly promoted the cult of the Virgin of Pilar, to which he dedicated a picture and an altar in the church of S. Nicola.
His desire was still hidden Japan: live and die for the Christian community, as proven at that time. In a letter dated August 4, 1631 he announced his desire to the vicar general, and exactly one year later, on August 4, 1632, he departed from Manila for Japan in the company of Fr Melchior of Saint Augustine who would be his constant companion until his martyrdom. Both arrived in Nagasaki eight days later.
Melchiorre Sanchez was born in Granada in 1599. At the age of nineteen he professed his religious vows in the convent of Augustinian Recollects of his hometown. In 1621, he departed for the Phillipines in the company of twenty-three other Augustinian Recollect missionaries, arriving in Manila in July of 1622. He learned the Tagalog dialects and Hisaya and exercised the apostolate in the recently opened missions of Mindanao, without a doubt the most difficult of the archipelago. He also spent some time in Manila as a preacher of the Spaniards until August 4, 1632, when he made his desire to go to Japan.
From that moment his life took place beside Martin.
Enmities had arisen between the Chinese traders, who had led them there, one of them denounced their entry into the territory to the governor of Nagasaki. Informed of the betrayal, the missionaries immediately sought a way to the mountains, where they met Father Domenico Equicia, who introduced them and instructed them in the idiom of the country. However, their stay in the mountains did not last long because their anxiety soon pushed them down in a city where, discovered and recognized by government agents, they were taken November 3, 1632, when they still had not taken place three months after their arrival.
The government tried, in the name of the emperor, to make them renounce Christianity, but to no avail. Irritated signed the death warrant that was executed on December 11.
On the stake, both missionaries went there after being tied loosely to the poles, so that if they could have changed their mind to escape the torment. Melchior died four hours after the start of execution, while Martin, to the amazement of the spectators, held out for eighteen hours.
Their martyrdom was immediately reported. Already in 1633 the Bishop Diego Valente was the first to receive news from Macao, where Portuguese traders testified to the martrydom of twenty-two. Some years later, in 1637, Pedro de San Juan, the governor of Macao put in place a broader testimony, Portuguese merchants of thirty-six, thirty-two of whom were present for martyrdom. Only in 1920 but was issued the decree introducing the process of Apostles.
Following the approval, on November 28, 1988, of their martyrdom, they were Beatified in Rome by Pope John Paul II April 24, 1989.
Author: Angel Martinez Cuesta
source: Santi e Beati