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.
Many know of the famous North American Martyrs, however, not many know of other martyrs in our nation’s history. This will hopefully no longer be the case as the cause for canonization of 82 martyrs from Florida will be opened on October 12, 2015.
“This is an exciting moment,” said Bishop Estévez, who will join Bishop Parkes, to speak at the La Florida Martyrs’ Mass. “The foundations of the Catholic Faith in America were so heroic, and the launching of the cause and building of the shrine will help more Americans know about this important history.”