FELIPE by Helene Margaret


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Our Lady of Guadalupe is regarded by most Catholics as patron saint of Mexico City, but as Helene Margaret points out in Felipe the real patron saint is a little known sixteenth century martyr --San Felipe de Jesus. Even though he is the only canonized saint born in North America, he has rarely been heard of anywhere in the United States except in the diocese of Los Angeles where his feast is celebrated on Feb. 5 each year. Miss Margaret's beautifully written biography should do much to make San Felipe de Jesus more widely known and loved. The son of a wealthy customs collector and deputy purveyor, young Felipe grew up in an affectionate and wealthy family in Mexico City. At fifteen he ran away from home to become a monk at the Hermitage of Santa Barbara, but only stayed a year. His father sent him to Manila as a merchant trader, and while there he entered the Franciscan Friary of Santa Maria de Los Angeles, and set out on the path that led to martyrdom. Ordered home for ordination, he left reluctantly as he had hoped to join the first Franciscan missionaries being sent to Japan. His ship, however, was blown almost miraculously to the coast of Japan, and it was there a short time later that he met martyrdom with the other Franciscan friars and several Japanese Christians on a hill in Nagasaki. Canonized in 1862 -- Saint San Felipe de Jesus is the protomartyr of Japan. Miss Margaret crams her pages with dramatic facts and incidents from the Saint's short life, and succeeds in making Felipe a completely engrossing story.

Pub Date: Sept. 19th, 1962
Publisher: Bruce