Vatican Radio reported this weekend that Archbishop Jose Meng Ziwen of Nanning died on Saturday in the province of Guang Xi.
The archbishop, who served the Catholic Church in Communist China in a region located 2,700 kilometers southeast of Peking, was 103 years old and was the oldest Chinese prelate and one of the oldest in the world.
Archbishop Meng Ziwen was arrested in 1951 during the brutal “cultural revolution” of Mao Tse Tung and was condemned to 20 years of forced labor.
He was freed in 1970 and afterwards survived by selling fertilizer. When possible he devoted himself to evangelization and to the pastoral care of the faithful.
According to Vatican Radio, “after the government’s modest changes in its religious policies, Archbishop Meng Ziwen convinced Chinese authorities to return Church property.”