Wednesday, July 9, 2014


July 9

St. Nicholas Pick and Companions (d. 1572)

It is not always possible to choose when and how we will witness to our faith.

In 1568 the Low Countries revolted against Spain. 
In the northern part (now the Netherlands), the revolt was also directed against Catholicism. 
This rebellion ultimately led to the recognition in 1648 of an independent Republic of United Provinces (Netherlands).

Nicholas and his companions (11 Franciscans and eight diocesan priests) are also known as "the martyrs of Gorcum," where they were arrested by Calvinist soldiers. They were taken to Briel and urged to renounce the Roman Catholic teaching on Christ’s presence in the Eucharist and on the pope’s primacy. They refused and were hung from crossbeams. 
The execution was clumsily handled; it took two hours for some of them to strangle. 

They were canonized in 1867.