Saint Augustine Zhao Rong

St. Augustine Zhao Rong (d. 1815) was a Chinese soldier who was assigned to escort the captive Catholic bishop, John Gabriel Taurin Dufresse, to Beijing where he was to be executed by beheading. The bishop's faith made a strong impact on Zhao, who then requested baptism. He took the Christian name Augustine, and later entered the seminary and was ordained to the priesthood. During the continuing persecution of Christians in China, Augustine was one of thousands of Chinese Catholics who suffered martyrdom for the faith. He was arrested, tortured, and killed in 1815. St. Augustine Zhao Rong is honored with a group of 120 martyrs who were killed for their Catholic faith in China from 1648-1930. The group was canonized by Pope St. John Paul II in 2000. Of them, 87 were Chinese natives and 33 were Western missionaries. The feast day of St. Augustine Zhao Rong and the Chinese Martyrs is July 9th.
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