Franciscan Martyrs: St. Nicholas Tavelic & Co. – Nov 14 – Homily – Fr John Lawrence

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Fr John Lawrence gives the homily at Bloomington, IN, on Nov 14, 2023, on the life of the Franciscans St. Nicholas Tavelic and companions who were martyred in Jerusalem for preaching the gospel to the Muslims.

This reflects the conviction of these martyrs, who believed deeply that "the souls of the just are in the hands of God, and no torment shall touch them" (Wisdom 3:1 -, even in the face of death for their faith.

St. Nicholas, born around 1340 in Šibenik, Croatia, became a Franciscan friar and missionary to Bosnia. Along with St. Theodotus, St. Peter of Narbonne, and Stefano Cunio, he later served in the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land, caring for sacred Christian sites. These friars, from diverse origins, exemplified virtues of devotion, obedience, and religious perfection.

In 1391, they courageously presented their Christian faith to the qadi (Islamic judge) in Jerusalem, challenging Islamic beliefs and declaring the necessity of embracing the gospel for salvation, aligning with the belief that "whoever believes and is baptized will be saved" (Mark 16:16 - Their steadfast refusal to recant led to their martyrdom.

The Franciscan superiors later documented their martyrdom, and their veneration began soon after. St. Nicholas Tavoli? was officially recognized as blessed in 1889 by Pope Leo XIII, and all four were canonized in 1970 by Pope Paul VI, marking St. Nicholas as the first Croatian canonized saint.

00:00 – Introduction and Overview of Franciscan Martyrs
00:36 – Life and Mission of St. Nicholas Tavoli?
01:00 – Historical and Ecclesiastical Context of Bosnia
02:17 – St. Nicholas's Role and Missionary Challenges in Bosnia
02:56 – Transition to Franciscan Custody in the Holy Land
04:11 – Diversity and Exemplary Life of Franciscan Martyrs in Holy Land
05:47 – Confrontation and Martyrdom
09:21 – Aftermath: Investigation, Veneration, and Canonization

Ave Maria!

Mass: St. Nicholas Tavelic and companions - Mem -
Readings: Tuesday 32nd Week of Ordinary Time -
1st: wis 2:23-3:9
Resp: psa 34:2-3, 16-19
Gsp: luk 17:7-10

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