Francis of Bassost

Capuchin Priest

Though his death was the result of banishment from Guatemala, Father Francis of Bassost was a martyr of the United States in as much as he died in San Francisco. His name was not included in the martyrology which has been submitted to the Holy See because information concerning him was made available only after the documents had been prepared.

This missionary who was born in Spain, established the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin in Guatemala. In 1872 the revolutionary government of Guatemala, in the person of the infidel Governor Barrios, issued a decree of expulsion against all religious communities. Among the victims were Father Francis of Bassost and thirty eight other Capuchins.

In June of that year with but an hours' preparation and "amid a hostile display of bitterness and animosity", they were transported from Antigua to Champerico, on the coast, a distance of two hundred miles. After enduring many hardships they arrived at the coast on June 16th and were placed on board a ship bound for San Francisco.

On July 1st they reached that city and three days later, July 4th 1872, Father Francis of Bassost died from the effects of the harsh treatment inflicted upon him during the expulsion.