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Saint Augustine Zhao Rong, Priest, and Companions, Martyrs
Today we honor Saint Augustine Zhao Rong and his 119 companions, martyrs of China. In the year 2000, John Paul II canonized these holy men and women who gave their life between 1648 and 1930. Historically, these persecutions began with the invasion of the Fujian region by the Manchu Tartars of Mongolia, continued through the Taiping Rebellion; a civil war accounting for 20-30 million deaths, and culminated in the Boxer Rebellion; the uprising rejecting Western imperialism at the beginning of the 20th century. The Christians martyred throughout this period include 87 native Chinese and 33 foreign missionaries. Saint Augustine Zhao Rong, the first martyred Chinese priest, had earlier witnessed the persecution of Monsignor Dufresse and became ordained because of it. In these martyrs, we shown a fervent faith in a people who, “with just pride preserved their Chinese identity and culture.” 
Written by Sarah Ciotti
 Agostino Zhao Rong and 119 Companions, Martyrs in China, Vatican News Services, 2000.
 John Paul II, Homily, October 1, 2000.
 “120 Martyrs of China,” Catholic News Agency, 2012.
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