Today we celebrate the Feast Day of St. Augustine Zhao Rong and Companions. 

Here’s what you need to know…

Christianity has seen many ups and downs in China through the centuries. At times it has been accepted and thrived, while other times it has been harshly persecuted.

St. Augustine Zhao Rong is one of a group of 120 Catholics, among many more who were martyred between the years 1648 and 1930 in China.

During the persecution of 1772, while working as a bailiff in a jail, Augustine was moved by the words and actions of Catholic prisoners, and converted. He became a priest, and in 1815 when another persecution broke out, he was arrested, tortured, and died.

Of the 120 martyrs mentioned above, eighty-seven were Chinese, ranging in age from nine to seventy-two. Thirty-three were foreign, most of whom were missionaries.  Many of them suffered torture and cruel deaths.

St. Augustine Zhao Rong and Companions were canonized by Pope John Paul II on October 1, 2000.

Martyrs of China, ora pro nobis.

Happy Feast Day everybody!