Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

Photo Courtesy of Holy Spirit Church
Father Gerardo Ceballos Gonzalez, Archbishop Gregory J. Hartmayer, OFM Conv.; Father Pablo Migone and Msgr. Edward Dillon, stand before the new Georgia Martyrs painting at Holy Spirit Church, Atlanta.


Georgia Martyrs art blessed at Holy Spirit Church

By Georgia Bulletin Staff | Published June 9, 2022

ATLANTA—On Wednesday, May 18, Archbishop Gregory Hartmayer, OFM Conv., celebrated Mass at Holy Spirit Church and then blessed a new painting of the five Georgia Martyrs. Msgr. Edward Dillon, pastor of Holy Spirit Church, commissioned Pamela Gardner to paint the portrait.

The homily was delivered by Father Pablo Migone, chancellor of the Diocese of Savannah, who is the promoter for the cause of beatification for the Georgia Martyrs. Following the blessing of the portrait, those in attendance had dinner and watched a short documentary about the martyrs. Michael Jordan, the producer of the film, attended.

Who are these martyrs? In the late sixteenth century, six Spanish Franciscans relocated to the coast of Georgia to spread the Gospel to the Guale people, the Native Americans in that area. The friars learned the Guale language and lived with the people. Many of the Guale people converted to Catholicism. A conflict arose surrounding a marriage with a baptized Guale man. In the aftermath, five Franciscans were killed and became known as The Georgia Martyrs. Those killed were Friar Pedro de Corpa, Friar Miguel de Añon, Friar Antonio de Badajoz, Friar Blas de Rodríguez and Friar Francisco de Veráscola. There was a sixth friar, Francisco de Alva, who was kidnapped and tortured but survived.

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