Augustin Schoeffler

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Saint Augustin Schoeffler
Augustin Schoeffer MEP.jpg
Saint Augustin Schoeffler.
Born 22 November 1822
Mittelbronn, France
Died 1 May 1851 (aged 28)
Son Tay, Vietnam
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Beatified 7 May 1900 by Pope Leo XIII
Canonized 19 June 1988, Rome, Italy by John-Paul II
Major shrine Mittelbronn, France
Feast May 1 (May 2 locally in France)
Patronage Metz Seminary

Augustin Schoeffler (1822–1851) was a French saint and martyr in the Roman Catholic Church and a member of the Paris Foreign Missions Society. He was a priest in Lorraine who joined the Foreign Missions of Paris.[1] He worked as a missionary to Indochina and was one of two French missionaries killed in northern Vietnam between 1847 and 1851.[2] At the time, it was illegal to proselytize in Vietnam.

His feast day is May 1 (May 2 locally in France).[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Augustin Schoeffler was born on the 22 of November, 1822, in Mittlebronn, France.[3] He was baptized the next day. From 1834-1842 he studied at the minor seminary of Pont-à-Mousson and the college of Phalsbourg. From 1842-1846 Schoeffler studied Philosophy at the major seminary of Nancy. On the 5 October 1846, he began training in the Seminary of Foreign Missions of Paris. On May 29, 1847 Augustin Schoeffler was ordained a priest in Paris.[4]

Missionary Life[edit]

  • November 18, 1847: left Antwerp for Tonkin.
  • July 6, 1848: arrived in Tonkin.
  • 1848-1851: Worked as missionary while learning the Vietnamese language.
  • Spring 1850: Left for the north of the country where his bishop gave him the task of evangelizing to Son Tay.
  • March 1, 1851: Schoeffler was arrested.
  • March 5, 1851: Schoeffler was found guilty of proselytizing.
  • May 1, 1851: Schoeffler was beheaded at Son Tay.[4]

As Father Schoeffler walked to his place of execution, a placard, which read, "He preached truly the whole charge of preaching the religion of Jesus. His crime is patent. Let Mr. Augustin be beheaded, and cast into a stream."[5] was carried before him. Augustin Schoeffler's head was thrown into the Red River, and was never recovered.[3] The crowd rushed to collect relics. Some even uprooted the grass that was stained with his blood.[6] His body was buried on the site of his execution. Two days later, local Christians exhumed the body and reburied it in a Christian village nearby.[3]


On September 24, 1857, Augustin Schoeffler was declared Venerable by Pope Pius IX. He was beatified by Pope Leo XIII on May 7, 1900. He was made a saint by Pope John Paul II on June 19, 1988.


As of May 10, 2009 a relic of Augustin Schoeffler can be found at the Assumption Grotto Church in Detroit, Michigan.[7] Descendants of Schoeffler's family live in the area and attend the church.[8]


  1. ^ a b Englebert, Omer (1994). The Lives of Saints. Christopher Fremantle, Anne Fremantle (trans.). New York: Barnes and Noble Books. ISBN 978-1-56619-516-4. 
  2. ^ McLeod, Mark W. (1991). The Vietnamese response to French intervention, 1862-1874. New York: Praeger. p. 171. ISBN 978-0-275-93562-7. 
  3. ^ a b c Société des Missions Etrangères de Paris[permanent dead link] (French)
  4. ^ a b Noblet, Joseph; Jean-Paul Berlocher (1988). An Adventurer For God. p. 46. OCLC 25134446. 
  5. ^ Marshall, Thomas William M (1862). Christian Missions; Their Agents, Their Method, and Their Results. London Burns and Lambert. OCLC 162573014. 
  6. ^ Nola Cooke (June 2004). "Early Nineteenth-Century Vietnamese Catholics and Others in the Pages of the Annales de la Propagation de la Foi". Journal of Southeast Asian Studies. 35 (2): 261–285. doi:10.1017/s0022463404000141. 
  7. ^ Assumption Grotto News[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ Te Deum laudamus!

External links[edit]