Saint Antonio Gonzalez BornSpain DiedSeptember 24, 1637, Nagasaki, Japan Venerated inRoman Catholic Church BeatifiedFebruary 18, 1981 by Pope John Paul II CanonizedOctober 18, 1987 by Pope John Paul II FeastSeptember 28 For the American political activist see Antonio Gonzalez (political activist)., Antonio Gonzalez (died 1637) was a Roman Catholic martyr and saint. Born in Leon, Spain, he entered the Dominican Order at the age of 16. His favorite saint was St. Peter of Verona, the Dominican proto martyr, thus his religious enthusiasm gave rise to his living desire for martyrdom. When an invitation was sent to their convent asking for volunteer missionaries for the Far East, Fr. Gonzales was among those who eagerly volunteered. His target destination was Japan, but he had to prepare for this mission in the Philippines. He arrived in Manila in May 1632. He became professor and acting rector of the University of Santo Tomas. In 1636, he was finally able to fulfill his dream of going to Japan. After a year, he was arrested, proudly wearing his habit to signify that he went to Japan for the sake of the Gospel. After tremendous torture, he was found dead in his cell at dawn on September 24, 1637. Antonio Gonzales was canonized by Pope John Paul II in October 1987 together with his companion martyrs, including St. Lorenzo Ruiz of Manila. St. Antonio Gonzales is among the nine Thomasian Martyrs.