Valentín de Berriochoa

Photo added by Eman Bonnici

Valentín de Berriochoa

Birth
Elorrio, Provincia de Vizcaya, País Vasco, Spain
Death 1 Nov 1861 (aged 34)
Hải Dương, Hải Dương, Vietnam
Burial Bilbao, Provincia de Vizcaya, País Vasco, Spain
Memorial ID 80334195 · View Source
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Roman Catholic Saint. Considered as the second patron saint of Bilbao after Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Valentín de Berriochoa entered seminary in Logroño at eighteen years of age, after working as a carpenter with his father for three years, having had to interrupt his studies due to financial problems that struck his family. Re-entering seminary, he was ordained priest in 1851. Assisting at the seminary as spiritual director for two years, as well as in several parishes across the city, his jovial nature and dedication to others soon began to be appreciated and valued among his parishioners. Following a retreat and much thought, he joined the Order of Preachers, beginning his novitiate at the convent of Ocaña, Toledo, being the only Dominican convent that could receive novices in those years. Professing in 1854, he did not tell his parents of his decision until entering the Order. After a year of novitiate, he spent two more years in Ocaña, endorsing the lifestyle of the Dominicans and preparing for missionary work. Leaving Seville with eight other Dominicans in 1856 to Cadiz in order to embark for Manila, arriving in June 1857, for the following six months they studied the Annamite language in order to set for Tonkin, nowadays Vietnam, which was then a land of persecution, looting, destruction of churches, imprisonment, torture and murder of priests and catechists. Meeting Bishops Melchor Garcia Sampedro and Jerónimo Hermosilla, likewise members of the Dominican Order and future saints, he wrote letters to his mother to tell her what was happening, seeing that he always smoothed his words, so as not to have her worry too much, thus hiding from her the realities of missionary life, that was hard, scary, underground set and filled with constant flights and austerity. Chosen by Bishop Sampedro as coadjutor apostolic vicar of Central Tonking, he received his episcopal consecration with the titular see of Centuria from Sampedro himself on December 25, 1857. Succeeding to the vicariate upon the martyrdom of Bishop Sampedro, his episcopal ministry lasted three years: years on the run and hunger, with news of deaths and arrests, of writing letters and reports on property, full of pain and of misery. His letters are a first-hand testimony and rich in details about the violence suffered by communities and the Friars who served them. Ultimately accused and imprisoned with Bishop Hermosilla, a catechist and another Dominican of Catalan origin, they were sentenced to death by beheading, with the execution taking place on November 1, 1861. Bishop Valentín was only thirty four years of age. The news of his martyrdom spread quickly. His remains were transferred to his native Elorrio via Manila, arriving in 1886, and buried in the parish church of the Immaculate Conception. The elegant monument which presently houses his remains was constructed in 1908. Beatified by Pope Pius X on May 20, 1906 and later canonized by Pope John Paul II on June 19, 1988, his liturgical memory is held on July 4.

Bio by: Eman Bonnici


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Eman Bonnici
  • Added: 12 Nov 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 80334195
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Valentín de Berriochoa (14 Feb 1827–1 Nov 1861), Find A Grave Memorial no. 80334195, citing Basílica de la Purísima Concepción de Elorrio, Bilbao, Provincia de Vizcaya, País Vasco, Spain ; Maintained by Find A Grave .