Saint Peter Chanel – 28th April

Born in France, Peter’s interest in the missions began in school, when he read letters missionaries to America sent back home. As a young priest, Peter revived a parish in a “bad” district by the simple method of showing great devotion to the sick. Wanting to be a missionary, he joined the Society of Mary, the Marists, at 28. Obediently, he taught in the seminary for five years. Then, as superior of seven Marists, he traveled to Western Oceania. The bishop accompanying the missionaries left Peter and a brother on Futuna Island northeast of Fiji, promising to return in six months. He was gone five years.

Peter struggled with this new language and mastered it, making the difficult adjustment to life with whalers, traders, and warring natives.  A few natives had been baptized, a few more were being instructed. When the chieftain’s son asked to be baptized, persecution by the chieftain reached a climax. Father Chanel was clubbed to death.

Within two years after his death, the whole island became Catholic and has remained so. He was canonized by Pope Pius XII in 1954. Peter Chanel is the first martyr of Oceania and its patron.

Prayer to Saint Peter Chanel

(Repeat the following Novena prayers every day for 9 consecutive days)

O God, who for the spreading of your Church
crowned Saint Peter Chanel with martyrdom,
grant that, in these days of paschal joy,
we may so celebrate the mysteries of Christ’s Death and Resurrection
as to bear worthy witness to newness of life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.

Prayer to St Peter Chanel

St Peter Chanel, you left your homeland to proclaim Jesus, Saviour of the world, to the peoples of Oceania.
Guided by the Spirit of God, who is the strength of the gentle, you bore witness to love, even laying down your life.
Grant that, like you, we may live our daily life in peace, in joy, and in fraternal love.
May your prayer and example call forth from our midst many workers for the Gospel so that God’s Kingdom may reach to the ends of the earth.

Prayer to Saint Peter Chanel

you called Saint Peter Chanel to work for your Church
and gave him the crown of martyrdom.
May our celebration of Christ’s death and resurrection
make us faithful witnesses to the new life he brings,
for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.

Opening Prayer:

Lord, you sent St. Peter Chanel to bring the light of faith to the peoples of Oceania and gave him the crown of martyrdom. May our celebration of Christ’s death and resurrection make us faithful witnesses to the new life he offers, for he lives and reigns….

Preparation of the Gifts:

God of all mercy, you choose what is weak in the world to bring to nothing what is strong. Accept our gifts and hear our prayer that, like your servant Peter Chanel, we may prove unshakeable in the face of adversity. We ask this through Christ our Lord.


Heavenly Father, all powerful and ever loving, God we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks, to adore and bless your goodness to us through Jesus Christ our Lord. From the first companions of the Society of Mary you appointed St. Peter Chanel to minister and witness to the Gospel, sending him to our islands. Here, with great endurance, hardships and afflictions, he gave outstanding testimony to Christ by his words, his life and the shedding of his blood. And now, with all the angels and saints, we praise you forever and ever.


Lord, we have shared in this meal of joy and salvation. Strengthen us to press eagerly forward in the steps of St. Peter Chanel, proclaiming the Gospel of peace and truth. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Saint Peter Chanel

Holy Spirit, Giver of Life, Saint Peter Chanel became a priest at a time when many had lost interest in the Faith. Assigned to a parish that was spiritually dead, he discovered that frequent prayer and daily Mass kept him from becoming discouraged. In just three years of working to inspire people to get excited about Jesus and His Church again, the parish came alive with spiritual fervor. I ask Saint Peter to intercede for my parish. Lord, enliven the people who don’t have much enthusiasm, and give a spiritual hunger to those who don’t attend Mass. Bring renewed life to the Church.
Saint Peter Chanel, pray for us.