This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 11 -- Feast of John-Gabriel Perboyne

The First Saint Associated with China

Pierre and Marie (Rigal) Perboyne had eight kids, so perhaps having only two of them die in the missions to China was not such a heavy blow.  It depends on their faith, and maybe on what happened to the other six kids. 

Jean-Gabriel followed his older brother into the seminary.  JG became a professor of theology and rector of the seminary after being ordained.  When his brother died while evangelizing China, Jean-Gabriel replaced him. 

He arrived in 1836.  Three years later, the British attacked China in the first Opium War.  JG was a French Catholic, not a British Anglican, but that distinction was lost on the Chinese authorities.  They arrested him, hung him by his thumbs, and beat him with bamboo.  Then, on September 11, 1840, they marched him to Red Mountain in Ou-Tchang-Fou, tied him to a cross, and strangled him. 

And on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11/2001, I think it is worth contemplating the notion that one person's holy martyr is another person's villainous infidel.  To a third person, all of the above may deluded fools.  For this reason, we must be more dedicated to our values and ideals than to the humans we follow. 

1 comment:

  1. Kind of sloppy of me to hit this saint two years in a row without noticing. I need a better system. I also need to find a new saint for 9/11/2013.