Redemptus of the Cross

Redemptus of the Cross (also Redemptorus), (15 March 1598 – 27 November 1638) was a Portuguese lay brother in the Order of Discalced Carmelites. He was put to death along with other members of a group sent to Aceh by Portuguese authorities.

Bl. Redemptus of the Cross, O.C.D.
Denis of the Nativity and Redemptus of the Cross cropped.jpg
A devotional image of the Blesseds Redemptus and Denis (Redemptus on the right)
Discalced Carmelite friar and martyr
Born15 March 1598
in Paredes de Coura, Portugal
Died27 November 1638(1638-11-27) (aged 40)
Venerated inRoman Catholic Church (Discalced Carmelite Order)
Beatified10 June 1900 by Pope Leo XIII
Feast29 November


He was born Tomás Rodrigues da Cunha in Paredes de Coura, Portugal on 15 March 1598.[1][2] He first served as a soldier in the Portuguese army in India, where he joined the Carmelites in Goa as a lay brother in 1615, taking the name Redemptus of the Cross.[3]

Redemptus was sent by the superiors of the Order to accompany Father Denis of the Nativity as part of an ambassadorial mission from the Portuguese Empire to the Sultan of Aceh. The mission was led by Dom Francisco Sousa de Castro as ambassador.

Once in Aceh, all the members of the mission were seized and arrested,[4] at the instigation of the Dutch authorities based in Jakarta.[5] They were then subjected to torture, and those members of the mission who refused to deny their faith were executed one by one. The two friars were led to a desolate spot on the seashore, where Redemptus was shot with arrows, after which his throat was slit.[6] Father Denis, a crucifix in his hands, was the last to die, his skull shattered by a blow of a scimitar.[4]

Castro, the ambassador, was the only survivor. He was held in captivity for three years, until his family paid a large ransom for his release.[7]


Redemptus of the Cross was beatified on 10 June 1900 by Pope Leo XIII, together with Denis of the Nativity. Their feast day in the Calendar of Saints of the Order is the 29 November.[4]


Deus, qui mirabilis dispositione beatos Dionysium et Redemptum per maris pericula ad palmam martyrii perduxisti: eorum intercessione concede; ut, inter mundanas varietates et sæcularia desideria, fideles usque ad mortem in confessione tui nominis maneamus. Per Christum Dominum Nostrum. Amen.

O God, Who in Thy wondrous providence, led the blesseds Denis and Redemptus through the perils of the sea to the palm of martyrdom, grant, through their intercession, that in the midst of earthly vicissitudes and worldly desires we may remain steadfast even unto death in the confession of Thy name. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

— Collect of Mass for November 29 (Feast of Denis of the Nativity and Redemptus of the Cross), according to the Missal of the Discalced Carmelites (1925)[8]


  1. ^ "Tomás Rodríguez da Cunha". Martyrs et Saints (in French). Retrieved 8 March 2012.
  2. ^ Mora Pernía, Iván. "Santos de la Orden de Los Carmelitas Descalzos" (in Spanish). O.C.D. Venezuela. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
  3. ^ Walsh, Michael (2007). A New Dictionary of Saints: East and West. Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press. p. 511. ISBN 978-0-8146-3186-7.
  4. ^ a b c "Bienheureux Pierre Berthelot". Nominis (in French). l'Eglise Catholique en France. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
  5. ^ Guénin, Eugène (1903). La Route de l'Inde (in French). Paris: Librarie Hachette et Cie.
  6. ^ Rohrbach, Peter-Thomas (1966). Journey to Carith: The Story of the Carmelite Order. New York: Doubleday & Co.
  7. ^ Route
  8. ^ Proprium Missarum ordinis Carmelitarum Discalceatorum (PDF) (in Latin). Machelen, Belgium: H. Dessain. 1925. p. 5.

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