June 25th: The feast of *St. Dominic Henares*

Today, June 25th, we celebrate the feast of *St. Dominic Henares* (1764-1838), one of the Martyrs of Vietnam.

St. Dominic was born to a poor family in Spain. He joined the Dominican Order and was ordained a priest in 1790. Ten years later he was sent as a missionary to the Far East. He went from Mexico to the Philippines, and finally to North Vietnam. He became Bishop of Phunhay, Vietnam, in 1803.

In 1831, the Vietnamese emperor officially prohibited Catholicism and severely persecuted the Church. Whole villages were sent into exile; priests were arrested and subjected to the most terrible tortures before they were killed. Those who helped capture them were richly rewarded.

In 1838, Bishop Henares, Bishop Ignatius Delgado, the apostolic-vicar of Tonkin, and St. Francis Chien were captured. He had hidden himself in a boat, and the nervousness of the boatmen gave him away.

Bishop Henares was arrested and beheaded in Nam Dinh on June 25, 1838. The soldiers and villagers who participated in his arrest received generous compensation. St. Dominic Henares is one of an estimated 130,000 to 300,000 Catholics martyred for the faith in Vietnam between the 15th and 20th centuries.

The relics of the martyrs were recovered in part, and were honorably buried by the next Dominican, Bishop Hermosilla and his companions, They were canonized together by Pope St. John Paul II in 1988. St. Dominic Henares’ feast day is June 25, and the collective memorial for 117 of the Vietnamese Martyrs is November 24.

*St. Dominic Henares, pray for us.*