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 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.
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 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.
The People's Republic of China and the Roman Catholic Church each have well over a billion members, but there are over 12 million Catholics in China. The reasons for that are better explained by historical conflicts than by a wholesale rejection of the Good News of Jesus Christ. The Chinese-born martyrs honored by today's feast were regarded by their persecutors as dangerous because they were considered allies of enemy, Catholic countries. The martyrs born outside China often tried to distance themselves from European political struggles relating to China, but their persecutors saw them as Westerners and therefore, by definition, anti-Chinese.
The Good News of Jesus Christ is intended to benefit all peoples; today's martyrs knew that. May 21st-century Christians live in such a way that Chinese women and men will be attracted to hear that Good News and embrace it.
A year after these martyrs were canonized, Blessed John Paul II addressed a group of Chinese and Western scholars, gathered in Rome for a symposium honoring the 400th anniversary of the arrival in Beijing of Matteo Ricci, a Jesuit scholar and Chinese intellectual.
After noting the positive contributions that Christianity had made to China, especially in health care and education, Pope John Paul II continued: "History, however, reminds us of the unfortunate fact that the work of members of the church in China was not always without error, the bitter fruit of their personal limitations and of the limits of their action. Moreover, their action was often conditioned by difficult situations connected with complex historical events and conflicting political interests. Nor were theological disputes lacking, which caused bad feelings and created serious difficulties in preaching the Gospel....
"I feel deep sadness for these errors and limits of the past, and I regret that in many people these failings may have given the impression of a lack of respect and esteem for the Chinese people on the part of the Catholic Church, making them feel that the church was motivated by feelings of hostility toward China. For all of this I ask the forgiveness and understanding of those who may have felt hurt in some way by such actions on the part of Christians."
Saint of the Day
Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.
I remind myself that, as I sit here now,
Saint Ignatius thought that a thick and shapeless tree-trunk would never
At this moment Lord I turn my thoughts to You. I will leave aside my chores and preoccupations. I will take rest and refreshment in your presence Lord. The Word of God
At this moment Lord I turn my thoughts to You. I will leave aside my chores and preoccupations. I will take rest and refreshment in your presence Lord.
The Word of God
Jesus you speak to me through the words of the gospels. May I respond to your call today. Teach me to recognise your hand at work in my daily living.
Conclusion Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.
Saint Augustine Zhao Rong, Priest, and Companions, Martyrs
Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (Matthew 10:6)
Have you ever dreamed of being a missionary to some faraway, exotic place? You could travel the world and tell people about the Lord, while setting up hospitals and schools for those in need. But we all know how the reality of daily life keeps us anchored in one place. So much for missionary zeal!
Today's Gospel reminds us, however, that missionary work does not begin with people halfway around the world. It starts with our next-door neighbors. We see Jesus telling his disciples to go to the people who look and act like them, people who speak the same language and share the same customs. Who knows? The disciples might have been on a first-name basis with some of them!
This is how God wants to work with us as well. He is calling us to go to the "lost sheep" in our neighborhoods. This does not lessen the call, and it by no means narrows your field of work. There are plenty of people in your own town who need friendship and comfort. Many have lost hope or been crushed by misfortune or economic hardship. Think of the young people struggling to find their way in life or the elderly widower whose loss of his wife has left him isolated and bitter. So many people! So much need!
You don't have to learn another language or travel very far. You know many of the obstacles that these people are facing, since you probably face some of them yourself.
Today, ask the Lord to help you see the "lost sheep" in your own corner of the world. Ask him, also, to show you how to channel your desires and passions into missionary efforts. Maybe you feel a pang in your heart whenever you think about the lonely people in nursing homes. Maybe you feel a kinship with couples whose marriages are struggling. Maybe the cry of the homeless resonates in your mind. If you experience anything like this, it may well be the Spirit sending you out. He may be showing you your own special mission field!
Jesus tells each of us, "The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few" (Matthew 9:37). How is he calling you?
"Lord, send me to your lost sheep today."
Hosea 10:1-3, 7-8, 12; Psalm 105:2-7
For all those that have no god, for all those that have no King, Jesus is here. It is evident that He has brought the Kingdom of Heaven. It is evident He came for you and for me. Today's 5minutos said:
"I don't ask for myself, Lord, that possessing everything, at no desire, for You, now nothing!
I ask for others, that faint in the night and have a rebellious mouth to the honey of the prayer and never bended the knee to your Holy Presence!
I do not ask for me, Lord! What can I desire if you have surpassed my hope?
I ask for others, covered in darkness, that from the dust can not see the final star and look without seeing that your smile flowers on the edge of their sadness.
I do not ask for myself, Lord, whom you have populated my poverty with stars and lilies!
I ask for the others, that while enjoying multiple riches and owner of many fountains are fainting from thirst, because they are lacking your water!
I do not ask for myself, Lord! If you have showed me to bless even the tears!
I ask for the others, that cry without remedy! And are afflicted by the garden with flowers being dried when You are the fountain, orchard and rosebush that they need.
I do not ask for myself, Lord! I ask for the others, my brothers and sisters! They do not know that the way is hidden, make them see inside the soul! They ignore that your house is not above, but in the intimate heart of who rightly loves You!
I do not ask for myself! I ask for the others, so that they love You and You love them, Lord of sweet fire and powerful water! "
I heard a quote Dr. Ray said on EWTN radio as he quoted a coach's words ""Don't tell your problems to people: eighty percent don't care; and the other twenty percent are glad you have them" Lou Holtz (American Football coach, 1937-1980). LOL, and this here faith sharing ain't no "me party". A man that wanted to be a deacon told me that I needed to watch what I said because it seemed it was all about me. He soon divorced, left the deaconate, and had a baby with another woman. Could it be me that I talk about when I talk about somebody else? (Point the finger, the rest point back) We have to break away from this "it's all about me" world. We hear sob stories of all sorts. People can not break away from the pains they've been through. And so life is spent in a world of hurt and pain. (That's not what God wants for you right now) Either people were abused, or they actually abused. Either they saw people kill or they themselves killed others. Either they never had a father or mother, or they themselves are raising kids without a father or mother. Either you had nobody while growing up or you grew up with alot of others and never felt noticed. Either you grew up with a sickness or now you have a sickness. For these instances or others not mentioned, God is the remedy. The Kingdom of God is at hand. It came for the poor. That poor lonely child is you. Healing of ALL, curing EVERYTHING was granted to the Disciples of Christ. We have the ability. The feeling I've had for the ministries I've served is this (and not for self pity), "I have yet to do anything for the Lord!". In other words, the best is yet to come, but what is holding me back? And I say this for you. What is holding US back? What is holding YOU back? Because I would hope that when you read this, you are put into my shoes, so when i say "Me" I mean "You". I have yet to give the best to God. What am I afraid of? What demons are holding me down? Most often there aren't any demons, just self holding back. Why? Have you not had an encounter with the Lord? AHA! That's it isn't it? So what is holding your encounter? <Insert Excuse Here>. Now offer it up to God.
"Lord, I don't know what is holding me back, I wish I knew! Please God, I know you're out there. Lead me to you, Please! And if it costs me something, I know you're worth it. Let me not be afraid. God, they say you are good, I want good in my life. I am sorry I have not done my part to encounter You. Let this be my first step forward. I know you love me, help me love you....."