Denver Newsroom, Jul 9, 2021 / 15:15 pm
Today, July 9, the Church celebrates the feast day of Chinese Martyrs, 120 faithful Catholics assassinated for their faith between 1648 and 1930. 86 of them died in 1900, during the so-called "Boxer Rebellion," a Chinese anti-Western revolt that caused the killing of Catholic, Evangelical and Anglican missionaries as well as other Europeans and Americans.
Of the group canonized by Pope John Paul II on October 1st of 2000, 87 were Chinese laypeople and 33 were missionaries.
The feast is an occasion for the Chinese Catholic diaspora, and for the Universal Catholic church as a whole, to pray for Christians currently persecuted in Communist China, especially those Catholics who despite being a minority in Hong Kong, constitute the backbone of the freedom movement and are currently being jailed such as Catholic convert Jimmy Lai, owner of the pro-democracy paper Apple News; or those forced to exile, like pro-democracy Catholic leader Joseph Cheng.
“Chinese men and women of every age and state, priests, religious and lay people, showed the same conviction and joy, sealing their unfailing fidelity to Christ and the Church with the gift of their lives,” said St. John Paul II during the canonization.