Eladio and Roberto, July 22, 1740, St. Augustine

Names:                 Eladio (Yamasee)

                             Roberto (Yamasee)

Date:                    July 22, 1740

Place:                   chapel of Our Lady of La Leche, St. Augustine

The English under Oglethorpe, “this enemy of Spain and of our Catholic religion and of our faith”, and their allies the Creeks attacked the shrine of Our Lady of la Leche on July 22, 1740. They were beaten back, but not before they burned and desecrated the shrine.

Two Yamassee Indians Eladio and Roberto were found dead of musket wounds within the chapel. Their blood had made a pool on the dirt floor. These Indians had been given the honor and responsibility of caring for the shrine.

“…both of them baptized and of great faith and veneration to the same Virgin Our Lady, and that both of them helped the religious when they celebrated the Masses there, and that they taught the Catechism to the other Indians… They fulfilled all their duties and carried them out and accomplished them with much zeal and great dedication and care, because the said holy image of the Blessed Virgin of the Milk and of the Good and Happy Childbirth was greatly venerated by all, since she was very miraculous and took care of her children at all times and in all things…

 

…But these two Indians, Eladio and Roberto, as it seems, died before the altar of the said chapel and the holy image of the Virgin Our Lady of the Milk and of the Good and Happy Childbirth, when they were trying to stop the enemies that were ruining and burning everything, and the only resort they had for this was to shoot arrows at the Creek Indians, so they armed themselves with their bows and the arrows they had in their quivers and shot their enemies, and as a result of this defense, five of the said Creek Indians died from the arrows [that were shot at them], and these arrows could still be 

seen in their bodies. And due to this defense they made, the two of them were killed when they were fighting against the Creeks in order to defend the image of Our Lady the Virgin…

and that the Indians Eladio and Roberto died as a result of having been shot by the Creek Indians, it can be known that they died in defense of their faith, when with great zeal they wanted to avoid the destruction of the holy image of the Virgin, which was destroyed by the bullets of the English.”

Six witness testified to their martyrdom by “the Holy Cross and the Gospels.”