Home Catechetical Corner Saints of the Day: Augustine Zhao Rong and Companions

Saints of the Day: Augustine Zhao Rong and Companions

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St. Augustine Zhao Rong and Companions, Martyrs of China

Feast: July 9

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St. Augustine Zhao Rong and Companions, Martyrs of China (CNS)

The 120 martyrs of China were canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2000. They were killed by various Chinese dynasties over a 400-year period.

The group consists of 87 Chinese converts and 33 foreign missionaries, mainly European; they were bishops, priests, seminarians, lay men and women, and children.

Augustine Zhao Rong is honored by name because he was the first Chinese diocesan priest to be executed. As a soldier, he had guarded a Catholic bishop held prisoner, and was so moved by the bishop’s demeanor that he became a Christian and a priest.

He died in 1815 after being tortured. At their canonization, the pope said the martyrs had “a state of mind marked by deep serenity and joy.”