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Forty Martyrs of Brazil

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Stich mit Darstellung von Inácio de Azevedo und Gefährten

Engraving depicting Inácio de Azevedo and companions

part of the concrete crosses in about 20 meters water depth

Stone cross with a tablet on which the names of the martyrs are written, directly at the old lighthouse

The Forty Martyrs of Brazil (also Martyrs of Tazacorte in Spanish)[1] are a group of 40 Jesuits (32 Portuguese, 8 Spanish) martyred in 1570 under the leadership of Inácio de Azevedo as missionaries en route to Brazil.

During the crossing, their ship was attacked and boarded off La Palma on 15 July 1570 by Huguenot privateers led by Jacques de Sores. The latter had de Azevedo and all the other Jesuits on board killed except one.[2]

Pope Pius IX beatified the 40 Jesuits on 11 May 1854. Commemoration day is usually July 15. The Society of Jesus celebrates them on 19 January together with other Jesuit martyrs.

To commemorate the beatified, 40 concrete crosses were erected by the island government of La Palma at the place of martyrdom on the seabed. The place is located at a depth of about 20 meters. Today it is a popular diving area and is located near the lighthouses of Fuencaliente. A stone cross with a plaque bearing the names of the martyrs was placed next to the old lighthouse in October 2014.

List of martyrs

  1. Inácio de Azevedo, Priest and Provincial of Brazil (born in Porto, Portugal)
  2. Diogo de Andrade, priest (born in Pedrógão Grande, Portugal)
  3. Bento de Castro, friar, student (born in Chacim, Macedo de Cavaleiros, Portugal)
  4. António Soares, friar, student (born in Trancoso da Beira, Portugal)
  5. Manuel Álvares, friar, coadjutor (born in Estremoz, Portugal),
  6. Francisco Álvares, friar, coadjutor (born in Covilhã, Portugal)
  7. Domingos Fernandes, friar, student (born in Borba, Portugal)
  8. João Fernandes, friar, student (born in Braga, Portugal)
  9. João Fernandes, friar, student (born in Lisboa, Portugal)
  10. António Correia, friar, student (born in Porto, Portugal)
  11. Francisco de Magalhães, friar, student (born in Alcácer do Sal, Portugal)
  12. Marcos Caldeira, friar, (born in Feira, Portugal)
  13. Amaro Vaz, friar, coadjutor (born in Benviver, Marco de Canavezes, Portugal)
  14. Juan de Mayorga, friar, coadjutor (born in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, Navarre, today: France)
  15. Alfonso de Baena, friar, coadjutor (born in Villatobas, Toledo, Spain)
  16. Esteban de Zudaire, friar, coadjutor (born in Zudaire-Améscoa, Navarra, Spain)
  17. Juan de San Martín, friar, student (born in Yuncos, Toledo, Spain)
  18. Juan de Zafra, friar, coadjutor (born in Jerez Badajoz, Spain)
  19. Francisco Pérez Godói, friar, student (born in Torrijos, Toledo, Spain)
  20. Gregório Escribano, friar, coadjutor (born in Viguera, Logroño, Spain)
  21. Fernán Sánchez, friar, student (born in Castilla-La Vieja, Spain)
  22. Gonçalo Henriques, friar, student (born in Porto, Portugal)
  23. Álvaro Mendes Borralho, friar, student (born in Elvas, Portugal)
  24. Pero Nunes, friar, student (born in Fronteira, Portugal)
  25. Manuel Rodrigues, friar, student (born in Alcochete, Portugal)
  26. Nicolau Diniz, friar, student (born in Bragança, Portugal)
  27. Luís Correia, friar, student (born in Évora, Portugal)
  28. Diogo Pires Mimoso, friar, student (born in Nisa, Portugal)
  29. Aleixo Delgado, friar, student (born in Elvas, Portugal)
  30. Brás Ribeiro, friar, coadjutor (born in Braga, Portugal)
  31. Luís Rodrigues, friar, student (born in Évora, Portugal)
  32. André Gonçalves, friar, student (born in Viana do Alentejo, Portugal)
  33. Gaspar Álvares, friar, student (born in Porto, Portugal)
  34. Manuel Fernandes, friar, student (born in Celorico de Beira, Portugal)
  35. Manuel Pacheco, friar, student (born in Ceuta, Spain)
  36. Pedro Fontoura, friar, coadjutor (born in Chaves, Portugal)
  37. António Fernándes, friar, coadjutor (born in Montemor-o-Novo, Portugal)
  38. Simão da Costa, friar, coadjutor (born in Porto, Portugal)
  39. Simão Lopes, friar, student (born in Ourém, Portugal)
  40. João Audaucto (born in Entre Douro e Minho, Portugal)

Individual references

  1. Beato Ignacio de Acevedo y los mártires de Tazacorte
  2. Ignatius de Azevedo, B.. In: Johann E. Stadler, Franz Joseph Heim, Johann N. Ginal (eds.): Vollständiges Heiligen-Lexikon … Volume 3 ([I]K-L), B. Schmid’sche Verlagsbuchhandlung (A. Manz), Augsburg 1869, pp. 24-29.

Web links

Commons: Forty Martyrs of Brazil– Collection of images, videos and audio files