The 33 martyrs of Yang Kia Ping

His Hermeneuticalness offered a story about modern martyrs on his blog recommending that we read more about them.

I agree.

To begin, here is what he posted at his place:

Theresa Marie Moreau at Veritas Est Libertas writes of the story of the 33 martyrs of the Trappist Monastery of Yang Kia Ping.

The photo to the right is of Father Chrysostomus. Theresa tells of his fortitude at the final ludicrously unjust people’s trial before he was shot with several of his brothers. Here is just a small section:

Father Chrysostomus Chang plumbed the depths of his human will for a supernatural strength. With only a few minutes remaining of his life in the material world, he lifted his thoughts to the spiritual. Through screams from the mob, he addressed his confreres at his side one last time, to prepare them not for death, but for life, everlasting life.

“We’re going to die for God. Let us lift our hearts one more time, in offering our total beings,” he said.After being shot, the bodies of the holy monks were thrown into a sewage ditch where wild dogs came to lick their blood.

The whole account tells of unspeakable active cruelty combined with the deliberate neglect of basic human needs. To make people walk around in soiled clothes because they have not been allowed to relieve themselves seems to me a particularly diabolical aspect of persecution from the French revolution onwards. It is designed to degrade the humanity of a person and break their spirit. It did not succeed with these holy monks.

On the other hand, Theresa tells a tale of heroism, and the spiritual life lived with perfect fidelity even under the pressure of cruel physical and mental torture.

Do read the whole story. These men should be canonised.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. The Astronomer says:

    If these holy men died in odium fidei, does Holy Mother Church automatically consider them martyrs or is formal recognition of such required by the Holy See and appropriate Congregation at the Vatican?

  2. Joe in Canada says:

    thank you Father, this is an edifying story. I did a little bit of research: Mme Moreau has more incredible stories of Catholicism in Communist China at

  3. My understanding is that martyrs for the faith do not require miracles for canonization. I believe there must still be a declaration that they are martyrs for the faith, in order to resolve any potential ambiguity on the point.

  4. priests wife says:

    so many modern martyrs…let’s not forget the martyrs of Baghdad and the martyred bishops of Romania- among others

  5. btb says:

    This poignant story was also serialized in The Remnant recently.

  6. Aengus Oshaughnessy says:

    I don’t think a miracle is necessary for canonization. After all, the Holy Innocents are recognised as martyrs, and they were only infants.

  7. Maltese says:

    “And fear ye not them that kill the body, and are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him that can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matt. 10:28

  8. J Kusske says:

    Thank you Father for continuing to keep the stories of the persecuted Church out there. Living here in mainland China I need to know as much about the story of those who have suffered as I can, and I’m not likely to find out much except from sources like you and those you glean. This story of Yangjiaping is something I hadn’t heard about, and isn’t too far from where I am in Beijing. Some day I pray there will be a great opening of society here and all these things will come out into the open–God grant it be soon, but God work it out in His own divine plan.

  9. Supertradmum says:

    Thank you, Father, and after reading the whole story, I am amazed and deeply moved by their torments. Only those living in grace and in the power of the Holy Spirit could have endured so many months of torture and humiliation. What great men and what great examples they are for all of us.

    Holy Martyrs, pray for us not to be lukewarm, but holy for God and His Church. Please bring more men like you into the Trappist, Cistercian, and Benedictine monasteries around the world. Thank you.

  10. benedetta says:

    The account of their suffering and death is stunning.

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