Martyr Saints of China

Martyr Saints Of China

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Martyr Saints of China

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The Martyr Saints of China, or Augustine Zhao Rong and his 119 companions, are saints of the Roman Catholic Church. The 87 Chinese Catholics and 33 Western missionaries, from the mid-17th century to 1930, were martyred because of their ministry and, in some cases, for their refusal to apostatize. Many died in the Boxer Rebellion, in which xenophobic peasants slaughtered 30,000 Chinese converts to Christianity along with missionaries and other foreigners. In the ordinary form they are remembered with an optional memorial on July 9. The Chinese transliteration sometimes different.

The 17th and 18th centuries

On January 15, 1648, the Manchu Tartars, having invaded the region of Fujian and shown themselves hostile to the Christian religion, killed Saint Francisco Fernández de Capillas, a Dominican priest aged 40. After having imprisoned and tortured him, they beheaded him while he recited with others the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary. Father de Capillas has since been recognised by the Holy See as the protomartyr of China.

After the first wave of missionary activities in China during the late Ming to early Qing dynasties, the Qing government officially banned catholicism (protestantism was considered outlawed by the same decree, as it was linked to catholicism) in 1724 and lumped it together with other 'perverse sects and sinister doctrines' in Chinese folk religion David Lindenfeld. Indigenous Encounters with...
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