U.S. Catholics in the 21st century should come to know and love the martyrs of the La Florida missions. These martyrs are candidates for canonization, but were also all real men, women, and children, with inspiring stories of faith, love and forgiveness.
More than 1,000 Catholics, priests, religious and lay faithful — both European and Native American — associated with the Spanish mission territory of La Florida shed their blood for the Catholic faith from Florida all the way to Virginia from 1549 to 1763.
The No Greater Love Festival was held in St. Augustine, at the Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche at Mission Nombre de Dios, March 4. The arts and music festival honored the martyrs of La Florida, Antonio Cuipa and companions, and benefitted the Knights of Columbus’ “Christians at Risk” initiative.
"When praying about the GIVEN action plan, three things were deeply on my heart: the persecuted Christians in the Middle East, the recent opening of the cause of canonization of the Martyrs of La Florida, and the great need to use beauty and the arts to draw the hearts of the created to the Creator."
The long voyage to the New World has led the sailors to the shores of the “Tierra de Pascua Florida” (Flowery Easter land). Father Pedro Martínez decides to venture into the wooded thicket of Tallahassee to find groups of indigenous people in order to fulfill the mission that has taken him to the ends of the known world.
On October 12, 2016, Knights of Columbus Florida State Deputy Don Goolesby and many brother Knights joined the one-year anniversary celebration of the opening of the cause for canonization for Servants of God Antonio Cuipa and Companions.
On June 11, 2016, Dr. Soha spoke about Catholic evangelization in America and the witness of faith by St. Kateri and the Martyrs of La Florida as part of the Mission of Faith Lecture Series presented at the Knights of Columbus Museum.
The outdoor Mass and opening of the sainthood cause for 86 Florida martyrs -- known as Antonio Cuipa and Companions -- was celebrated Oct. 12, just east of Tallahassee, the site of what will become the Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Martyrs.
A group of Christian Native Americans and missionary priests - all who died in St. Augustine and near present-day Jacksonville centuries ago while defending their faith - have been proposed for sainthood
About fifteen years ago, the late Dr. John Hann, then historian at the site of Mission San Luis in Tallahassee, told me that of the Apalachee nation, commonly thought to be extinct, a chief had been located in Louisiana. I found that to be great news, but I did not think I would ever have the pleasure of meeting this person.
Could Tallahassee one day have a Catholic saint to call its own? The push is getting underway to canonize an Apalachee Indian who was raised as a Christian at Mission San Luis and later died for the faith.