(Vatican Radio) The Catholics in eight districts of Arunachal Pradesh, India on August 2, fondly remembered two French Missionaries, Frs. Krick and Bourry, who were killed by a Mishmi tribal chief in Somme Village near Khibito bordering China.
Frs. Krick and Bourry, the 19th century martyrs who sowed the first seeds of Christianity in Arunachal Pradesh, had Tibet as one of their important goals. Back then, the only way to Tibet was through Arunachal Pradesh. It was on their way to Tibet via Arunachal Pradesh, while halting at Somme, a Mishmi tribal village, they were killed by its chief Mr. Kaisha on 2 August 1854.
Frs. Krick and Bourry were members of the Société des Missions Etrangères de Paris (M.E.P), or the Society of the Paris Foreign Missions, an institute of diocesan priests zealous to spread the Gospel of Christ in Asia. One of their important goals or destinations was Tibet. Back then, the only way to Tibet was through NE India, Arunachal Pradesh today. In fact, it was through Frs. Krick and Bourry that Arunachal Pradesh had its first encounter with Christianity, way back in mid-19th century.
Bishop George Pallipparambil of Miao Diocese, that covers the eastern part of Arunachal Pradesh, has taken keen interest to promote the cause of Canonization of these two martyrs. “Having read about these two missionaries from the few literatures available, we can say it with confidence that these two are holy men beyond doubt” says Bishop George.
In order to make these two holy men known and promote their cause of attaining Sainthood, the Diocese of Miao conducts various events on the day of their martyrdom. In the two centres dedicated to names of Frs. Krick and Bourry at Tezu in Lohit district and Injan in Changlang district, there were Quiz competitions and prayer service conducted to mark their martyrdom this year.
Around 20 schools participated in the Quiz Competitions at Krick and Bourry Memorial School, Tezu in Lohit district. The Krick and Bourry Memorial Hospital, the only Hospital run by the Diocese of Miao, at Injan in Changlang district organized a prayer service to remember the two martyrs. Dr. Sudip Bhattacharya, a senior doctor of the hospital expressed his happiness to have known about the two holy men through the prayer service, in which the nurses working in the hospital too prayed for its smooth running and for the canonization of the two martyrs.
With Pope Francis adding a new fourth way to possible Sainthood – people who lived a good Catholic life and who freely accepted a certain and premature death for the good of others, the Diocese of Miao is hopeful that it would soon have two Saints from Arunachal Pradesh. (Felix Anthony, Miao Diocese)