28 April
Peter Chanel, Missionary in the South Pacific, Martyr, 1841

Peter Chanel was born in 1803 and was ordained a priest in the Roman Catholic Church at the age of twenty-four, and for the next four years worked within the Diocese of Belly, France. In 1831, he recieved permission to join the newly-found Marists, who appointed him the spiritual director and headmaster of a College.

In late 1836 he set off for the Pacific as the head of the first band of Marist missionaries. He was let off on the island of Futuna, about six hundred kilometers north-east of Fiji, where he served for three and a half years before his martyrdom on 28 April, 1841.

His remains rested in Sydney in 1849 en route to France. Peter Chanel was canonised in 1954 and in 1977 his remains were returned for final rest at Futuna on the spot where he was martyred.

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