St. Peter Chanel

St. Peter Chanel (12 July 1803 – 28 April 1841), born Pierre Louis Marie Chanel, was a Catholic priest, missionary, and martyr. Chanel was a member of the Society of Mary or “Marists” and was sent as a missionary to Oceania (a large area of the Pacific Ocean including Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia). He arrived on the island of Futuna in November 1837. Chanel was clubbed to death in April 1841 at the instigation of a chief upset because his son converted to the Christian faith. Eventually, most islanders converted to Catholicism. The warrior who killed Chanel also converted and, as he lay dying, expressed the desire that he be buried outside the church at Poi so that those who came to revere Chanel would walk over his grave to reach it.


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