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Pope Francis canonizes the first martyrs from the Americas, three children killed in 1527, 1529

Pope Francis is canonizing 34 new saints this Sunday. Among them are three Mexican children, who were the first martyrs from the Americas. Their names were Cristóbal, Antonio and Juan.

MSGR. JULIO CÉSAR SALCEDO AQUINO
Bishop of Tlaxcala (Mexico)
“They are the first martyrs from Mexico and the first martyrs from the Americas. In 1527, Cristóbal died, and in 1529 Antonio and Juan died. It happened before the apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which were in 1531.”

Julio César Salcedo is the bishop of Tlaxcala, the city of the three indigenous children and martyrs, where their memory lives on. 

MSGR. JULIO CÉSAR SALCEDO AQUINO
Bishop of Tlaxcala (Mexico)
“Cristóbal, began to evangelize to his family, to his father, and after insisting for so long, his father got annoyed. One of his wives desired that her son would be the heir, and persuaded him to kill Cristóbal. Antonio and Juan have a different story. They knew of Cristóbal’s death. They went with the missionaries to evangelize and bring the catechism to the towns. Amidst the destruction of idols and everything, they also find death, martyrdom.”

Another new saint is Spanish priest Faustino Míguez, who founded the Daughters of the Divine Shepherd in 1855 to take care of little girls. 

FR. ANDRÉS VALENCIA HENAO
Postulator General of the Piarist Fathers
"He could see the need of the woman who was not heard, who was not taken into account. He saw that within itself there was a call to provide them with education and training."

MARÍA JOSÉ SOTELO IGLESIAS
Calasancio Institute Daughters of the Divine Shepherd
"The perspective of a woman is very important. She is considered the apostle of society, the bearer of peace in the family, the most important part of society because of what they contribute to the education of children.”

The other new saints are martyrs from Brazil, led by Jesuit André de Soveral, murdered in July 1645 by Dutch soldiers. Also in that group is Fr. Ambrosio Francisco Ferro and lay Mateo Moreira, killed for their faith along with 27 other people.