In the autumn of 1873, one of the worst yellow fever epidemics in U.S. history swept through Shreveport. As the deadly scourge claimed a quarter of the town's population, the dedicated efforts of five missionary priests offered a call to hope, even as they laid down their own lives in the struggle. True martyrdom is vanishingly rare, extolled as the highest possible sacrifice, yet Shreveport bore abundant witness through these five saintly priests. Their heroism in the midst of this tragic chapter is captured here by a trio of authors, winding a narrative that transcends history to reveal complex themes of virtue, sacrifice and response in times of human crisis and suffering.
Shreveport Martyrs of 1873: The Surest Path to Heaven
Very Reverend Peter B. Mangum, JCL, is the rector of the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans, judicial vicar and director of vocations for the Diocese of Shreveport. He has been integrally involved in researching the lives of these five priests and has twice visited the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome to learn and assist in the advancement of their cause.
W. Ryan Smith serves as the director of hospital operations at Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport. He is the author of Sang Pour Sang, a historical fiction novel published by University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press, and this is his second nonfiction title with The History Press.
Cheryl H. White, PhD, is a professor of history at Louisiana State University at Shreveport, where she has taught Medieval European and Christian Church history for twenty-five years. This is her sixth book title to be published with The History Press.