B. ROCHE GONZALEZ 15761628 Feast-November 17th 'Father of all' the Indians had called him: even to-day he is remembered with affection in Paraguay. In 1960 his heart, carefully treasured over the years, was brought to his birthplace, Asuncion, where a crowd of 30010. led by the President of Paraguay, came to venerate it A state decree proclaimed Blessed Roche an Illustrious Son of Paraguay; a special postage stamp was issued in his honour.
Roche Gonzalez yearned to work among his own people. He became a priest, and for 10 years brought the Faith to tribes of the interior. Then his bishop wanted to make him Vicar General: but Roche chose instead to become a Jesuit and to carry on his missionary epostolate.
Appointed Director of St. Ignatius'. the first of the famous Jesuit Reductions or Christian colonies. he strove to protect the Indians from pagan savages and European slave-traders, it was in Uruguay where he had gone to found a new Reduction that he was martyred with two companions. He was the first beatified martyr of S. America.
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