Prado, John of, Bl.

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Restorer of the Morocco mission, martyr; b. Morgovejo, Spain, 1563; d. Marrakech, Morocco, May 24, 1631. John entered S. Gabriel Province, whence, as superior, in 1620 he established the new S. Diego province of Andalucia and became its provincial. With good prospects of reopening the Moroccan mission, in 1630 he was named its prefect apostolic. John left Cadiz with Father Matías de S. Francisco and Brother Ginés de Ocaña, and at Mazagan secured letters and safe-conducts of the Spanish governor to Sultan Muley Abd el-Malik. Upon reaching Marrakech, he learned that the benevolent sultan was dead and had been replaced by his brother, Muley el-Walid, who in the audience of April 3, 1631, rejected the credentials of the friars and threw them into prison, asking that the Spanish governor and garrison evacuate Mazagan in exchange for their release. Later the sultan violently attacked the Christian faith, while Father John with the eloquence of a saint moved the apostates among the Christian captives to repent. Summoned before the furious sultan on May 24, Father John asked him to renounce Muammad and to worship Christ. Instead, the sultan stabbed him to death. The martyr was beatified by benedict xiii on May 14, 1728, and was chosen patron of the Morocco mission.

Feast: May 24.

Bibliography: francisco de san jvan de el pverto, Mission historical de Marrvecos (Sevilla 1708). j. lÓpez, Memoria sobre la misión franciscana de Marruecos (Tangier 1924). h. koehle, L'Église chrétienne du Maroc et la mission franciscaine 12211790 (Paris 1934).

[a. s. rosso]