Archive for the ‘St. Agatha Lin Zhao’ Tag

Feast of Sts. Agnes Tsao Kou Ying, Agatha Lin Zhao, Lucy Yi Zhenmei, Auguste Chapdelaine, and Laurentius Bai Xiaoman (February 19)   2 comments

Above:  Map of China, 1843

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT AGNES TSAO KOU YING (CIRCA 1821-MARCH 1, 1856)

Chinese Roman Catholic Catechist and Martyr, 1856

Roman Catholic feast day (solo) = March 1

Roman Catholic feast day (as one of the Martyrs of China) = September 28

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SAINT AGATHA LIN ZHAO (CIRCA 1817-JANUARY 28, 1858)

Chinese Roman Catholic Catechist and Martyr, 1858

Roman Catholic feast day (solo) = January 28

Former Roman Catholic feast day (solo) = February 18

Roman Catholic feast day (as one of the Martyrs of China) = September 28

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SAINT LUCY YI ZHENMEI (JANUARY 17, 1815-FEBRUARY 19, 1862)

Chinese Roman Catholic Catechist and Martyr, 1862

Roman Catholic feast day (solo) = February 19

Roman Catholic feast day (as one of the Martyrs of China) = September 28

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SAINT AUGUSTE CHAPDELAINE (JANUARY 6, 1814-FEBRUARY 29, 1856)

French Roman Catholic Priest, Missionary, and Martyr, 1856

Roman Catholic feast days (solo) = February 28 and 29

Roman Catholic feast day (as one of the Martyrs of China) = September 28

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SAINT LAURENTIUS BAI XIAOMAN (CIRCA 1821-FEBRUARY 25, 1856)

Chinese Roman Catholic Convert and Martyr, 1856

Also known as Saint Lawrence Po-Men

Roman Catholic feast day (solo) = February 25

Roman Catholic feast day (as one of the Martyrs of China) = September 28

Roman Catholic feast day (as one of the Martyrs of Cochin) = November 24

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INTRODUCTION

These five saints come to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via two sources.  All of the five saints are official, according to the Roman Catholic Church.  All of them, as Martyrs of China, share the Roman Catholic feast day of September 28.  Sts. Agnes Tsao Kou Ying, Agatha Lin Zhao, and Lucy Yi Zhenmei share the feast day of February 19 in The Episcopal Church, as of the approval of Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018 at the General Convention of 2018.  Sts. Auguste Chapdelaine and Laurentius Bai Xiaoman join the three women in this post because their stories overlap with that of St. Agnes Tsao Kou Ying.

I, as an anti-imperialist, affirm that anti-imperialism does not justify religious persecution.

Western imperialism in China led to abuses, including the British Empire selling opium and various powers exercising extra-territoriality.  Chinese anti-imperialism, although justified, led to violent excesses, notably the Boxer Rebellion (1899-1901).  Chinese anti-imperialism also led to occasional persecutions of Christians over time.  Our five saints died because of this policy.

SAINTS AUGUSTE CHAPDELAINE, LAURENTIUS BAI XIAOMAN, AND AGNES TSAO KOU YING

St. Auguste Chapdelaine, despite experiencing obstacles, eventually fulfilled his vocation as a priest and a missionary.  He, born in La Rochelle-Normande, France, on January 6, 1814, was a son of Nicolas Chapdelaine and Madeleine Dodeman.  Our saint dropped out of grammar school to work on the family farm.  He eventually discerned his vocation to the priesthood, but his family objected until after two of his brothers died suddenly.  Finally, on October 1, 1834, Chapdelaine, aged 20 years, matriculated at the minor seminary, Mortain.  He, being twice as old as many of his classmates, became “Papa Chapdelaine.”  Chapdelaine, ordained to the priesthood on June 10, 1843, worked as an associate parish priest in 1844-1851.  Our saint, having discerned his vocation to be a missionary, applied to join French Foreign Missions, which accepted him, although he was, technically, two years too old to join.

Chapdelaine completed his days as a missionary in China.  He, having left France on April 30, 1852, arrived in Singapore on September 5.  When the time to depart for his mission station in China came, our saint was ready.  Robbery delayed him en route to the mission station in Kwang Si province, though.  Our saint finally arrived in 1854.  Ten days later, authorities arrested him and incarcerated him for three weeks.  Chapdelaine, released, spent the next two years or so well; he converted hundreds of people.

St. Laurentius Bai Xiaoman, born Loulong, was one of those converts.  He, born in Shuicheng, Guizhou, circa 1821, came from a poor family.  Loulong, orphaned as a boy, worked as a day laborer in Guangxi then in the village of Yaoshan.  He married in his early thirties and had a daughter.  Chapdelaine converted Loulong circa 1855.

Chapdelaine also met St. Agnes Tsao Kou Ying.  She, born in Wujiazhou circa 1821, came from a Roman Catholic family.  Her parents died during her adolescence, prompting our saint to move to Xingyi.  St. Agnes married a young farmer when she was 18 years old.  Their marriage was brief; about two years later, she became a widow when her husband became a martyr.  The widowed saint became a catechist.  Eventually Chapdelaine asked our saint to assist him in his missionary work; she agreed.  St. Agnes cared for children, taught cooking, and catechized.

Authorities arrested Chapdelaine and St. Agnes in late February 1856.  Our saints, incarcerated and tortured, refused to renounce their faith. So did St. Laurentius, arrested after he protested the arrests of Chapdelaine and St. Agnes.  All three received death sentences.  St. Laurentius died on February 25.  Chapdelaine became a martyr on February 29.  St. Agnes received the crown of martyrdom on March 1.

Holy Mother Church recognized these saints formally.  Pope Leo XIII declared them Venerable in 1899 and beatified them the following year.  Pope John Paul II canonized the three saints in 2000.

SAINT AGATHA LIN ZHAO

St. Agatha Lin Zhao was another catechist and martyr.  She, born in Quinlong, Guizhou circa 1817, grew up in a Roman Catholic family.  She, an only child, discerned her vocation to live as a single woman and operate a church-related girls’ school.  Her parents reluctantly agreed to release her from plans for an arranged marriage.  St. Agatha, having earned her university degree, returned to her hometown and opened a school for girls.  Our saint, arrested in late 1857, refused to renounce her faith.  She died via beheading on January 28, 1858.

The Church formally recognized this saint.  Pope Pius X beatified St. Agatha in 1909.  Pope John Paul II canonized her in 2000.

SAINT LUCY YI ZHENMEI

St. Lucy Yi Zhenmei was a catechist and a martyr.  When she was 20 years old and recovering from a severe illness, St. Lucy deepened her faith.  She continued to reside with and to support her family, but she adopted a semi-monastic lifestyle.  Our saint also began to teach the catechism to children.  After St. Lucy’s priest asked Lucy to become a missionary, she initially refused.  She, citing safety concerns, moved to a convent instead.  In 1862, however, our saint and Father Wen Nair opened a mission in Jiashanlong.  Almost immediately, they became victims of a provincial persecution of Christianity.  Authorities arrested the priest and three others then, without conducting a formal trial, sentenced them to die.  The priest and the three other condemned persons were en route to die on February 18, 1862, when St. Lucy met them on the road and spoke up.  Authorities arrested her immediately.  Before the end of the day, she had received her death sentence.  She received the crown of martyrdom on February 19.

The Roman Catholic Church recognized St. Lucy formally.  Pope Pius X declared her a Venerable in 1908 then beatified her the following year.  Pope John Paul II canonized her in 2000.

CONCLUSION

Writing about martyrs is easy.  Living as a Christian in a country with religious freedom is also easy.  Asking oneself if one would rather die or remain faithful may lead one to examine one’s faith more closely.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 25, 2019 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SARAH LOUISE “SADIE” DELANY, AFRICAN-AMERICAN EDUCATOR; HER SISTER, ANNIE ELIZABETH “BESSIE” DELANY, AFRICAN-AMERICAN DENTIST; AND THEIR BROTHER, HUBERT THOMAS DELANY, AFRICAN-AMERICAN ATTORNEY, JUDGE, AND CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST

THE FEAST OF SAINT EUPHROSYNE AND HER FATHER, SAINT PAPHNUTIUS OF ALEXANDRIA, MONKS

THE FEAST OF SAINT HERMAN OF REICHENAU, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK, LITURGIST, POET, AND SCHOLAR

THE FEAST OF SAINT SERGIUS OF RADONEZH, ABBOT OF THE MONASTERY OF THE HOLY TRINITY, SERGIYEV POSAD, RUSSIA

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Lord Jesus Christ, who willingly walked the way of the cross:

Strengthen your church through the witness of your servants

Saint Agnes Tsao Kou Ying,

Saint Agatha Lin Zhou,

Saint Lucy Yi Zhenmai,

Saint Auguste Chapdelaine, and

Saint Laurentius Bai Xiaoman,

to hold fast to the path of discipleship even unto death;

for with the Father and the Holy Spirit you live and reign,

one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Ephesians 3:13-19

Psalm 27

Matthew 25:1-13

–Adapted from Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018, 141

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