The Catholic Church holds its martyrs in very high esteem. Sts. Agnes, Maximilian Kolbe and Thomas More are well-known in the long list of men and women who gave their lives in defense of our faith.

There are countless others that aren’t so well-known — even some whose blood was shed on U.S. soil. Antonio Cuipa, husband, father and Apalachee; Manuel, an indigenous Floridian youth who was brutally killed for proclaiming his faith; and Spanish Franciscan missionary Father John Parga are all members of the Martyrs of La Florida, whose causes for canonization are underway and who are profiled in our feature story on page one.

Our story delves into the lives and deaths of some of the earliest Catholics in the United States. Their martyrdoms have been unofficially recognized for many years, but now their official causes have gained momentum.  Their witnesses couldn’t be more needed. In our times of growing secularism and short attention spans, these stories of heroic faith need to be told. They are profound signs of the permanence of the Gospel, and they serve as a model for us, whose Catholic faith is constantly challenged, sometimes daily.

Please join me in asking all our martyrs’ intercession for a restoration of faith in the United States.

God bless you!