St Peter Chanel, S.M.
Painted 23–24, 26 Feb 2023.
St Peter Chanel is the Protomartyr of Oceania, and Patron of Wallis and Futuna.
He was a French Marist father and religious superior of seven fellow Marist missionaries sent out to the region, having left France on the 24th of December 1836.
He arrived on the island of Futuna on the 8th of November 1837 with two fellow missionaries, having previously split up with the main group after their ten–month sea voyage to cover more ground.
Three years after his arrival to Futuna on the 28 of April, 1841, Peter Chanel was seized and clubbed to death by a group of warriors sent by the King of Futuna, Niuliki, who was none to pleased with Peter for having converted his son to Christ.
It was, as it were, of little consequence for by the giving of his blood like Christ, the whole island was converted to Catholicism five months after Peter's death. Today his feast day is a public holiday of much celebration in the islands of Wallis and Futuna, whose combined population are overwhelmingly majority Catholic.
St Peter Chanel's feast day is on the 28th of April, the day of his death and the completion of the conversion of Futuna.
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