Today in Mauritius is the death of Jacques-Désiré Laval, a French catholic priest that came to Mauritius as a missionary, he was born on the 18 September 1803 and died on the 9 September 1864 and being venerated as the “apostle of the black and the poor”. Jacques-Désiré Laval was beatified on 24 April 1979 by Pope John Paul II.
Jacques-Désiré Laval began his career as a physician in France, but a riding accident that he miraculously survived awakened his spirituality and he became a priest at the age of 38.
He was being sent to Mauritius in 1841 as a missionary, six years had elapsed since the abolition of slavery in Mauritius, and the black people were being left living in great poverty and when père Laval saw all that misery he decided trying to relieve them from their sad situation.
So he offered his services as a physician for free, he helped the lepers, and created hospitals and hospices so as help the poor. He did many good during his 23 years of stay in Mauritius.
So every 8 September at night, people from all around Mauritius goes on a pilgrimage to the site of his tomb, where he is being venerated with offerings and prayers, it is being said that miraculous healings have been made after that his gravesite has been visited.