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Local Priest Starts YouTube Channel for the Martyrs of La Florida

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Have you heard of the 57 men, women, and children from Florida who are being considered for sainthood?

Their stories are now coming to life through a new YouTube Channel, started by Diocese of St. Petersburg priest, Father Len Plazewski.

In 2015, the cause for beatification was opened for Antonio Inija and his 56 companions. These individuals were indigenous people and religious order missionaries from Spain and the New World who were martyred for their Catholic faith in present-day Florida between 1549 and 1712.

“We are providing more resources for people to learn about the Florida Martyrs and grow in devotion to them,” explained Father Plazewski, pastor at Christ the King Catholic Church, in Tampa. Father Plazewski is a Vice-Postulator for the canonization of the Martyrs of La Florida. He is a native Floridian with a lifelong passion for Florida history.

The YouTube channel has local laypeople contributing such as narrators, Maggie Rodriguez, co-host of Daytime on Channel 8 and Neil Kennedy, Coordinator of Adult Faith Formation and Evangelization at Christ the King Catholic Church. Daniel Brunal from Los Loros Productions, LLC, is serving as editor/producer. Jimmy Mitchell, Campus Minister at Jesuit High School, is providing original music.

There will be 15 videos in total, with episodes releasing approximately every two weeks.

In addition to the YouTube channel, there are several ways in which you can deepen your devotion to these holy men and women and allow their stories to touch your heart.

Take time to allow these holy men and women who were killed for the Catholic faith to touch your heart and pray for their beatification. Antonio Inija and companions, pray for us!

Additional Information:

The cause for beatification was opened nine years ago and the historical facts were extensively researched through archival records from Florida and other states and countries.

The vital element of the Historical Commission’s work was determining the accuracy and credibility of reports of martyrdom and assuring it fit the Church requirements.

The Diocesan Phase was formally concluded on October 12, 2023 as all the findings of the local Tribunal of Inquiry were submitted to the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints in Rome.


The path to sainthood for martyrs is similar to the path for individuals that are not martyred:

Step 1: Diocesan Level Phase

At this stage, evidence is compiled and submitted to the Dicastery for the Causes of the Saints. The title of Servant(s) of God is given to those whose cause for sainthood is under investigation. The Martyrs of La Florida currently hold the title Servants of God.

Step 2: Roman Phase

In this stage, the Dicastery examines the evidence submitted and issue their judgment. Individuals who were not martyred require a miracle attributed to them before moving along in the process, but because martyrs gave their lives for the faith, this first miracle is not required. Upon their heroic virtue and sacrifice being officially recognized by the Pope, martyrs are given the title of Blessed and move along in the process.

Step 3: Beatification:

Receiving the title of Blessed is referred to as beatification. Those beatified are given a feast day and limited veneration is permitted (most often by region).

Step 4: Canonization:

It is during this stage that there must be a miracle attributed to their intercession that occurred after beatification in order to receive the title of Saint.  Receiving the title of Saint is referred to as canonization. The Church may then publicly venerate the Saints and recognizes that the individuals are present in heaven and are models for the members of the Church.