In 1572, Calvinists killed nineteen priests and religious because of their Catholic religion in Gorkum, Holland. Eleven of those killed were Franciscans, one Dominican, one Norbertine, and the rest were diocesan priests. In late June and early July, Calvinists officially seized the town of Gorkum and the Franciscans and four other priests were treated without mercy and with great contempt.
The Calvinist admiral, Baron de la Marck, had them dragged half naked and starving to the town of Briel, where they were paraded around the square much to the amusement of the people. That evening they were interrogated by the admiral and Calvinist ministers as to their religious beliefs. In order to gain their freedom they were ordered to abandon their belief in the Real Presence in the Eucharist. They refused to do this.
They were led to a deserted monastery where there was a shed with two beams. They were all hung while Father Nicholas Pieck spoke words of encouragement as he was flung off a ladder. Their bodies were thrown into two ditches where they remained until they were dug up and brought to the Franciscan church in Brussels in 1616. They were canonized in 1867 as the 19 Martyrs of Gorkum.