Peter Chanel, Missionary in the South Pacific

28 April -- Commemoration
If celebrated as a Lesser Festival, Common of Martyrs, page 464

Peter Chanel was born at Cras in France in 1803 and after ordination, joined the Marist missionary congregation in 1831. In 1836 he was sent to the islands of the South Pacific to preach the faith. Peter and his companions brought healing medicines as well as the gospel and were much loved and respected. On the island of Futuna in the Fiji group, where Peter was living, the chief's son asked for baptism, which so infuriated his father that he dispatched a group of warriors with explicit orders to murder Peter. They attacked him with clubs, axes and knives and he died on this day in the year 1841. Within a year, the whole island was Christian and Peter became revered throughout the Pacific Islands and Australasia as its protomartyr.