Thursday, July 9, 2009

Feast of St. Augustine Zhao Rong and Companions

Christianity arrived in China by way of Syria in the 600s. Depending on China's relations with the outside world, Christianity over the centuries was free to grow or was forced to operate secretly.

The 120 martyrs in this group died between 1648 and 1930. Most of them (87) were born in China and were children, parents, catechists or laborers, ranging from nine years of age to 72. This group includes four Chinese diocesan priests.

The 33 foreign-born martyrs were mostly priests or women religious, especially from the Order of Preachers, the Paris Foreign Mission Society, the Friars Minor, Jesuits, Salesians and Franciscan Missionaries of Mary.

Augustine Zhao Rong was a Chinese solider who accompanied Bishop John Gabriel Taurin Dufresse (Paris Foreign Mission Society) to his martyrdom in Beijing. Augustine was baptized and not long after was ordained as a diocesan priest. He was martyred in 1815.

Beatified in groups at various times, these 120 martyrs were canonized in Rome on October 1, 2000.


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Teach me judgement

"Teach me wisdom and knowledge, for in your commands I trust. Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I hold to your promise." Psalm 119:66,67

"If we took to Mary in all circumstances, we will immediately receive wise inspirations: Be patient, kind, charitable; comport yourself well, suffer voluntarily, and offer your pains to the Lord. Hope and love always, and give your life authentic Christian meaning." --Pope Paul VI

"If you remain in My word, you will truly be My disciples, and you will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free." --Jesus, as quoted in John 8:31

What better example than Mary of "know the Truth and the Truth will set you free." Mary knew and knows still intimately who her Son was, is, and always shall be. She is a perfect example of the pure disciple of Christ. Christ has endowed His mother with special gifts as the queen of Heaven. She leads all with her patience, kindnes, and charity. She comported herself perfectly, and certainly suffered voluntarily. Through her Truth came into the world and that Truth can set all of us free.

God Bless.