Men of Matanzas Revisited
The best way to remember and honor victims of any tragedy is to give them names, faces, and identities. Though it does not diminish the horror of their fate, it gives them a final dignity and helps us to remember them as human beings and not merely as victims. When the French Huguenots, the martyrs of Matanzas who fell near St. Augustine, Florida in 1565, were slaughtered, their captors' aim was that these men should be utterly forgotten.
Thus I determined to learn their names.Unfortunately, out of hundreds of French captives massacred for their faith and nationality, I have found only four names; Jean Ribault (see my post of March 06), Nicholas Barre, Francois La Caille, and a man named Sainte Marie whose first name I do not know. On the one hand, I am realized that I can give names if not faces to these men of faith and courage. On the other, I am saddened that there are so many others whose identities remain hidden or at least that I have not yet found.
Were their eyes light or dark? Was their hair long or short? Did they have families? Where were they born? I refuse to allow the Huguenots' executioners to gain the upper hand by completely obliterating these men both from the earth and from memory. I will continue to research until I discover all that can possibly be discovered. I will not let these men's stories end on the bloody beaches of Matanzas. I strongly encourage Protestant Christians to study the martyrs of Matanzas and perhaps to "adopt" one of these ill-fated men to research and remember. It is a life-changing experience that will never disappoint.
My first goal is to find Monsieur Sainte Marie's first name. That would be a small victory in itself.
(c) 2012 Joyously Saved