Priest and Catechist Martyred in Hatred for the Faith to be Beatified

The Servants of God, Fr Mario Vergara, a priest with the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME), and lay catechist Isidore Ngei Ko Lat will be beatified. They were killed in hatred of the faith in Shadaw (Myanmar) on 24 May 1950.

Pope Francis made the decision after authorising the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to promulgate the decree concerning their martyrdom. Mgr Phamo Soter, bishop of Loikaw who was the son of a catechist trained by Fr Mario, began the diocesan process for the case in 2003. Hence, the Burmese Church will celebrate its first blessed.

Fr Mario Vergara was born in Frattamaggiore (Aversa) on 16 November 1910. In 1929, after studying at the Jesuit minor seminary in Posillipo, he was admitted to the PIME seminary in Monza. In 1932 he received the tonsure and minor orders by the Bishop of Aversa Carmine Cesarano. In August 1933, he was admitted to the PIME novitiate in Sant’Ilario Ligure under the guidance of Fr Emilio Milani, who was a missionary in China. On August 26, 1934 he was ordained priest by Card Ildefonso Schuster in the church of Bernareggio. By the end of September, he had joined the PIME mission in Burma. Read more here.