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Bishop Wack celebrated 5th anniversary of the opening of the cause of canonization of Antonio Cuipa and his companions

Special to Gannett

PENSACOLA — Bishop William Wack, CSC, of the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee celebrated a Mass of thanksgiving on the fifth anniversary of the opening of the cause for canonization of Antonio Cuipa and his companions Oct. 12 in Tallahassee.

There are 54 martyrdom events that are under investigation, and all involve martyrs that were killed in the evangelization of the region known as La Florida. The cause includes 17 priests and religious brothers, seven Spanish laypersons and more than 60 Native Americans who were killed in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Bishop Wack celebrates Mass on the fifth anniversary of the cause for canonization of Antonio Cuipa and his companions Oct. 12 in Tallahassee.

“We don’t have to look across the world at the Holy Land or Colosseum to find martyrs. We have our brothers and sisters right here who gave their lives for Christ,” Wack said.

During the Mass, Bishop Wack prayed for the canonization cause to move forward. “May we keep the faith alive that many more people know God’s goodness through them,” he said.

Chris Stavres, president of the Martyrs of La Florida Missions Board, which serves as petitioners in the cause, in addressing the group at the conclusion of the Mass said the board of directors’ have hope and trust in God’s guidance in bringing the faithful witness of the martyrs to light and advancing the martyrs cause for God’s greater glory.  

For more on Cuipa, the other martyrs of La Florida Missions, and efforts at establishing a shrine, visit https://martyrsoflafloridamissions.org.

Because of the pandemic, the Mass was not open to the public. For the Board of the Martyrs of La Florida Missions and representatives of Florida’s Catholic community who attended, social distancing was practiced.