Saint Peter Chanel was born in July 12, 1803. He lived in the Hamlet of La Portiere in France. In his childhood, he was cheerful and busy with the family work of grazing the sheep. Young Peter grew in the devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Eucharist, and was encouraged of becoming a missionary by the local priest. He was ordained on July 15, 1827. Then he spent a brief time as an assistant priest. When Fr. Peter Chanel was twenty-eight years old, he joined the Marists. The Marists or society of Mary sent him on a mission to the southwest Pacific. When he reached the island of Futuna, he had trouble learning the language, but he soon became fluent at it. It was a difficult mission requiring isolation and adjusting to different cultures and food. The King of Futuna got jealous after his son said he was going to be baptized and sent a warrior to do whatever he could to stop that from happening. The warrior was defeated by the King’s son. The wounded warrior fled to Saint Peter Chanel, asking for help and then killed Saint Peter Chanel. Five months after his death, the whole island was converted to Christianity. Saint Peter Chanel was beatified in 1889, and he was canonized in 1954.
Saint Peter Chanel, you went to Oceania to proclaim the Gospel, though you faced many hardships on the way you persevered. God help us to be like Saint Peter Chanel who lived his life, in happiness, in peace, and in fraternal love. May your prayers and example, call many workers for the Gospel, so that God’s Kingdom may reach to the ends of the earth.