1900: 45 Christians Horribly Executed in China

1900: 45 Christians Horribly Executed in China
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/ The icon of the Holy Orthodox Martyrs of China (1900)

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 9 July 1900
  • Two Catholic bishops were also executed - St. Gregory Grassi and St. Francesco Fogolla. They were beheaded.

On this day in 1900, about 45 Christian missionaries and other Christians, including children, were executed in the city of Taiyuan, located in northern China, several hundred kilometers from Beijing.

It happened during the so-called Boxer Rebellion, which was largely directed against foreigners and Christians.

St. Gregory Grassi, St. Francesco Fogolla (who were Catholic bishops), and many Catholic priests and Franciscan monks were also executed on this day in 1900. Among them were: St. Elias Facchini, St. Théodoric Balat, and St. Andrew Bauer. They were  beheaded.

St. Marie Amandine, a nun who was a Franciscan missionary in China (she was born in Belgium) was also executed on this day in 1900. Six nuns (Franciscan missionaries) were executed during the Boxer Rebellion. They became saints and martyrs of the Catholic Church. They were three French, two Italian, and one Dutch woman: St. Mary Hermina of Jesus, St. Mary of Peace, St. Maria Clara, St. Mary of the Nativity, St. Mary of St. Justus, and St. Mary Adolfina.

Many Christian missionaries, mostly the Protestant Christians, and the Chinese who converted to Christianity, were also executed. According to testimonies, even women and children were executed.

The Catholic Church canonized the mentioned bishops, priests, friars, and nuns, and proclaimed them martyrs.  Some Protestant churches also proclaimed them martyrs. During the Boxer Rebellion, many  Orthodox priests were executed. They also became martyrs (including Metrofan, the first martyr among the Chinese Orthodox priests).

The Catholic Church celebrates the feast of the 120 Martyrs of China on 9 July.

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