Today Christians Celebrate the Feast of St. Gregory Grassi & Companions, Martyrs for Jesus Christ

St Gregory Grassi & Companions

St. Gregory Grassi & Companions
Image: Pinterest

(Franciscan Media) Born in Italy in 1833 Ordained a Priest in 1856 Fr. Gregory Grassi was sent to China five years later–Fr. Gregory Grassi was subsequently Ordained a Bishop of North Shanxi during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911)

Christian missionaries have often been caught in the crossfire of wars against their own nations–when the governments of Britain, Germany, Russia and France, forced substantial territory concessions from China in 1898 anti-foreign sentiment grew very strong among people in China.

Together with 14 other European Missionaries and 14 Religious in China, Bishop Gregory Grassi was martyred for their Faith in Jesus Christ during the bloody ‘Boxer Rebellion’ in 1900

Twenty six of these Martyrs were arrested upon orders Yuxian Governor of Shanxi and hacked to death: Five of them were Friars Minor;  Seven were ‘Franciscan Missionaries of Mary’ the first martyrs of their congregations; Seven were Chinese Seminarians together with Secular Franciscans; Four Martyrs were Chinese Laymen and the rest were Chinese Laymen which simply were employed by the ‘Franciscans’ and caught in the roundup of the others– Three Italian were Martyred the same week of the twenty-six in Hunan in South-Central China.

All of these Martyrs for Jesus Christ were Beatified by Pope Pius XII in 1946 and Canonized by Pope Saint John Paul II in 2000

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