Saints of the Society of Jesus: Blessed Andrew Bobola

23 May; Martyr

The Blessed Andrew Bobola was a great preacher in Poland. Such was his zeal that he was called the “hunter of souls” and the apostle of Lithuania, a large country then connected with Poland, which he greatly contributed to bring back to the unity of Catholic faith. This naturally excited against him the enmity of those separated from the Church by schism. He fell into the hands of a marauding party of Cossacks, who immediately vented their fury on him in the most cruel ways they could imagine. In mockery of our holy religion, they endeavored to represent in their tortures the vestments of the Catholic priesthood. They stripped off his skin, struck his teeth, tore out his nails, had him dragged by two horses, struck him with a hatchet, burned his sides, plucked out his eyes, cut off his ears and nose. Then, as he continued all the while to pray aloud for their souls, they pulled out his tongue, and finally cleft his head in two. Father Andrew was born in 1590, entered the Society of Jesus in 1611, and suffered on the eve of the Ascension, in 1657. After a long interval of time his body was found incorrupt. He was beatified by Pope Pius IX. He has wrought a great number of miracles.