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

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

On November 18, 1847, Father Schoeffler left Antwerp arriving in Tonkin on July 6, 1848. From 1848 to 1851 he worked as missionary while learning the Vietnamese language. In the spring of 1850 his bishop gave him the task of evangelizing Son Tay in the north. Schoeffler was arrested on March 1, 1851, and on March 5 found guilty of proselytizing. He was beheaded on May 1, 1851 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.[7]

The Rue St Augustin Schoeffler is located in Mittlebronn.


As of May 10, 2009 a relic of Augustin Schoeffler can be found at the Assumption Grotto Church in Detroit, Michigan. 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 "Saint Augustine Schoeffler", Société des Missions Etrangères de Paris
  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. ^ "Saint Augustin V. Schoeffler Collection", University of Notre Dame Archives
  8. ^ Te Deum laudamus!

External links

  • (in French) Archives of the Paris Foreign Missions Society
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