Martin and Blessed Melchior gave their lives to spread the gospel of Jesus.
Martin Lumbreras was born in Zaragoza, Spain, in 1598 and Melchior Sanchez
in Granada the following year.
Before he joined the Recollect Congregation of the Augustinian Order
at the age of twenty, Martin suffered the death of his brothers—one
killed while trying to establish peace between two enemies, the other an
Augustinian—and that of his sisters, one a Carmelite who died with
a reputation for sanctity. In 1622 he left for the missions in the Philippines.
Melchior, orphaned at an early age, received the Recollect habit of the
Augustinian Order at the age of eighteen and set sail for the Philippine
mission in 1621. Both friars arrived at the monastery of Saint Nicholas
in Manila after their ordination in Mexico City. In the Philippines, among
other duties, Martin was master of novices, and Melchior was engaged in
the apostolate of preaching. In July 1632, in response to a request of two
missionary confreres imprisoned in Japan, they asked to be sent to that
country to care for persecuted Christians who had been forced into hiding.
They arrived in September of that same year and began to minister in the
hills surrounding Nagasaki, until some of the very men who had helped them
reach Japan reported them to the officials. Having undergone various forms
of torture, they were burned at the stake on 11 December 1632.
Martin and Melchior were beatified by Pope John Paul II on 26 March 1989.
Their feast is celebrated by the Augustinian Family on 11 December.