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Eustáquio van Lieshout

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Blessed Eustáquio van Lieshout
Born November 3, 1890, Aarle-Rixtel, Netherlands
Died August 30, 1943, Brazil
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Beatified June 15, 2006, Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Blessed Eustáquio van Lieshout (November 3, 1890-August 30, 1943) was a Dutch missionary in Brazil, and a religious and priest of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

He was born as Huub van Lieshout in Aarle-Rixtel in the diocese of 's-Hertogenbosch in the province of North Brabant of the Netherlands. While still a young priest in Europe, in recognition of his work, the King of Belgium knighted him in the Order of Leopold. He was pastor for a while of Roelofarendsveen in the Netherlands.

Career in Brazil

Van Lieshout, with two other Picpus fathers and three brothers, arrived in Brazil in 1925, in response to the call of a local bishop. There he tried to follow the example of Father Damien de Veuster.

In Agua Suja in Brazil, the population started a bloodless uprising to stop him from going to Poá where he was sent by his superiors. In obedience, he travelled to Poá where he opposed spiritistes. His blessings and cures of the sick made the little village a center of pilgrimage (as well as the troubles that came with it).

Railroads were not able to furnish transportation for the great crowds; the lack of adequate housing meant that not even sanitary conditions prevailed. The police were no longer able to maintain order. Merchants sold bad food at high prices and thieves and robbers roamed the pilgrimage area preying on innocent victims. Father Eustáquio was ordered to leave his parish to prevent these conditions from continuing. Despite this, tremendous crowds followed him everywhere. Brazilian authorities became so alarmed that they ordered him out of towns and villages. No one had anything against this priest, but they were afraid of the crowds and the troubles that would follow.

The Cardinal Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro instructed him to leave the capitol city by midnight. Subsequently, a fanatical crowd blocked traffic and invaded church rectories looking for him. Somehow, he managed to find a hiding place and passed a year in peace and happiness. His final appointment was as pastor of Belo Horizonte, where he lived the last two years of his life. He was given an assistant who was able to control the crowds. No one was permitted to enter the rectory without a card of introduction. In this fashion, Father Eustáquio was able to give himself altogether to the work of his parish. After a week of sickness caused by an insect bite, he died on August 30, 1943.

At his death, on his body, was found a penitential pointed iron chain, buried so deep in his flesh that it could not be removed without making wounds. Miracles are attributed to him.


Father Eustáquio was beatified on the Feast of Corpus Christi, June 15, 2006, at 4:00 P.M., in Belo Horizonte, Brazil at a liturgy conducted by Msgr. Walmor de Oliveira de Azevedo, Metropolitan Archbishop of Belo Horizonte, and presided over by José Cardinal Saraiva Martins, Prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints. This follows a December 19, 2005, rescript from Vatican declaring authentic a miracle attributed to the intercession of Father Eustáquio.


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