He was born on February 3, 1946 in Baucau, East Timor. At the age of 17 he entered the School of Our Lady of Fatima in Dare, East Timor where he graduated in 1968. A year later he heard the calling to the priesthood and traveled to Estoril, Portugal to enroll in the Salesian Secondary School there. After a year of Novitiate in Manique, Portugal in 1973 when he took his first vows, he was sent to Lisbon to study Philosophy at the Theological Studies College for two years, then transferred back to his home city in East Timor for pastoral internship at the Fatumaca School. In 1975 he was sent to Macao for more pastoral training at Dom Bosco School there. From there it was back to school to receive his degree in Theology in 1979 from Portuguese Catholic University in Lisbon, then on to Rome where he specialized in the Spirituality of Pastoral Theology at the Salesian Pontifical University. He took a few weeks off in July 1980 to return to Lisbon to be ordained before returning to Rome to obtain his degree.
His first assignment as a Salesian priest was to go home again - to Baucau where he worked at the Salesians' Fatumaca School for two years before being appointed Director of the School in March 1983. Three months later he was elevated to Apostolic Administrator of Dili, the capitol of East Timor, a position he held until June 1988 when Pope John Paul II made him one of the youngest bishops by consecrating him Titular Bishop of Lorium and Bishop of Dili which incorporated all of East Timor at the age of 42.
It was a tremendous responsibility that this native East Timorite threw himself into. During his ad limina visit in January 1989 he asked for and received a personal audience with the Holy Father in which he was able to clearly explain the problems of his people in detail to the Pope. It must have moved the Polish Pope immensely for later that year in October 1989, the Holy Father made a papal visit to Dili. Earlier that same year Bishop Belo wrote UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar in 1989 denouncing the situation in East Timor.
Throughout his life his first concern has always been the Timorese people who were evangelized first by Saint Francis Xavier in 1511 who spent 14 months in the area. He turned the missions over to the Portuguese and due to their devotion to the faith, East Timor has remained solidly Catholic in a sea of Muslim occupation throughout the rest of Indonesia which consists of roughly some 3,000 islands including Borneo, Celebes, Java, the Lesser Sundas, Moluccas, Sumatra, Timor and West Irian. East Timor is midway between Java and the northwestern tip of Australia. In a bloody coup, East Timor was sadly annexed by President General Suharto of Jakarta for Indonesia in 1976 and since that time persecution has been great as the Timorese people have been denied rights after rights and today there is open war throughout this area of Indonesia with Catholics being the target of the infidels. Their greatest crusader remains Bishop Belo and his dedication and commitment to bringing peace back to East Timor caught the attention of the world in the mid-nineties...all the way to Norway where Bishop Belo, along with fellow freedom fighter and countryman Jose Ramos Horta, were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996.
Since he became bishop he has been the foremost representative of the East Timorese people, risking his own life for his flock in trying to protect them from infringements and persecution by those in power. He has been the leading exponent of non-violence and seeking dialogue with B.J. Habibe, the new Indonesia president who came to power when General Suharto was forced to resign. Today, things look no better in East Timor as the Muslim students clamor for control and East Timorese students plea for independence. But Bishop Belo will have none of either if it includes or encourages violence. He recommends a slow, sane and wise path through dialogue and understanding so both nations can coexist in peace. Belo has great respect among the Indonesian leaders who both fear and admire him, but the more hot-headed students and rabble rousers who advocate violence could undermine his attempts at a peaceful solution to the problems in East Timor in their fight for independence which all but Australia recognize the Timorese peoples' freedom and the fact Indonesia has no sovereignty over East Timor. But Indonesia will not let go. Already incensed that their dirty deeds were magnified to the world through the attention showered on Bishop Belo and Horta, they seethe with hate toward them and many feel it is only a matter of time before both will die as martyrs at the hands of the infidel. Until such a dastardly act occurs, God-willing it won't, Bishop Belo will continue to bring the sacraments and the teachings of Christ to his fellow countrymen in their struggle to keep the faith and gain their independence.
Death of Saint Ouen or Owen, son of Saint Authaire. Ouen was chancellor to King Clovis II of France and served as Archbishop of Rouen.
Pope Clement V colloborates with France's King Philip IV over the great danger of the Knights Templar by issuing a special letter to the French monarch. This letter resulted in the Templars being rounded up on October 13 the same year and condemned.
The Protestant revolt is complete in Scotland when Mary, Queen of Scots is forced to abdicate and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is outlawed in Scotland with no allegiance to Rome.