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Wednesday, 14 July 2010

"Every piece of my flesh ..."


Via Luke Coppen's Morning Catholic must-reads the other day, I came across an inspiring account of A Vibrant, Living Church in China by Elizabeth Hansen. Pope Benedict's 2007 Letter to Chinese Catholics demonstrates the immensely difficult conditions in which the Church in China operates and it is edifying to see the sincere desire of the underground Catholics to avoid discord.

In the course of her article, Hansen tells of the commemoration last Friday of the 120 martyrs canonised by Pope John Paul. She highlights the example of 18 year old Chi Zhuzi who was preparing for Baptism and refused to renounce the faith when he was captured and tortured during the Boxer Rising in 1900. Even when his right arm was cut off, he refused to deny Christ, telling his tormentors:
“Every piece of my flesh, every drop of my blood will tell you that I am Christian.”
He was eventually flayed alive.

At the Vatican website, you can see a summary for St Augustine Zhao Rong and his companions who died for the faith between 1648 and 1930.

Hansen's article is carried by Headline Bistro, an initiative of the Knights of Columbus in the USA. You can read about the launch and "Like" the Facebook page
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