Saint Roque was born as Roque González y de Santa Cruz in 1576 in Asunsion, Paraguay to noble Spanish parents. Although he felt unworthy, he became a Jesuit priest and was the first missionary to preach among the Guarani people of Paraguay, helping them to become self-sufficient and free by founding “reductions” missions for the natives. When the local chief became hostile to the Jesuits, St. Roque was martyred and burned at the stake, but his heart was left intact and the natives claimed that they heard the voice of the saint from it. This enraged the chief, who then had St. Roque’s heart pierced with an arrow. He was canonized in 1988 by Pope Saint John Paul II.