Feast of St. Théophane Vénard
Jean-Théophane Vénard was born near Poitiers, France, in 1829. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1852 in the Society of Foreign Missions. Shortly afterwards he was assigned to Tonkin, Vietnam, then a very dangerous region for missionaries. Prior to his departure, it is said that Fr Noailles had enrolled him as a Priest Associate of the Holy Family, remarking that one day Théophane would be a martyr.
On February 2, 1861 at the age of 32, Théophane was martyred for his faith and work as a missionary: it was the eve of the anniversary of the ‘Miraculous Blessing’ in the same year that Fr Noailles died. Jean-Théophane Venard was beatified in 1909 and canonised in 1988, the same year that Pierre Bienvenu Noailles was declared Venerable, the first step on the path to canonisation.
Théophane’s sister entered the Holy Family of Bordeaux, and took as her name in religion, Sr Théophane. Théophané’s brother, Eusebius, was also a Priest Associate of the Holy Family.