Poging tot beatificatie van martelaar Joris van Geel en de Belgische koloniale geschiedschrijving (1930-1948)



This contribution deals with the steps taken by the flemish capucins
from 1930 on in favour of the beatification of Adrianus Willems (in
religion Georges van Geel). This capucin father was killed by villagers
in the Congo Missions at the end of 1652 in unclear circumstances. Father
Hildebrand, the historian of the capucins, promoted this beatification
and wrote two biographies and several articles on this martyr. New
documents, found in the archives of the capucin fathers in Antwerp and
in those of the archdiocese of Malines, reveal the underlying purposes of
the campain: to increase the prestige of the capucin missions in Congo;
to !end support to the redemptorist missions in their struggle against the
protestant missions and the prophetic movements in Lower Congo, the
region where Georges van Geel died. The undertaking failed but had a
very positive effect on the historiography of Congo and Angola from the
16th to the 18th century.