The Church of Saint Gonsalo Garcia in Vasai, India
Today we honor the life of Gonsalo Garcia, the first native Indian saint born near Mumbai of a Portuguese father and Indian mother. At 24 he followed the Jesuits catechizing the Japanese for 8 years until in 1597 a persecution of foreigners imperiled his life along with Saint Paul Miki and Companions. All were forced to march to Nagasaki to their executions on crosses. On their arrival, Gonsalo asked: “Is this mine?” He was the first to be lanced to death.
The faith of Martyrs is best explained by Saint Augustine (+430) when he wrote:
“You must love in order to be victorious. There is no lack of persecution. The devil is always the persecutor…Why have I said all this…That when you celebrate the birthdays of the martyrs you may imitate the martyrs…even nowadays there is no lack of daily persecutions…All you have to do is remember you have a commander who has already preceded you in heaven…trust in him who gave you the strength to win, because he himself won the victory over the world.”
Whatever our daily trials may be, let us be brave to have the faith of the Martyrs…because LOVE is victorious!
Saint Gonsalo Garcia of India, Pray for us