Saint Augustine Zhao Rong and Companions

Augustine Zhao Rong was a Chinese solider who accompanied Bishop John Gabriel Taurin Dufresse (Paris Foreign Mission Society) to his martyrdom in Beijing. Augustine was baptized and not long after was ordained as a diocesan priest. He was martyred in 1815. The 120 martyrs in this group died between 1648 and 1930. Most of them (87) were born in China and were children, parents, catechists or laborers, ranging from nine years of age to 72. This group includes four Chinese diocesan priests.

Saints Aquila and Priscilla

When Paul came to Corinth (probably in the year 50), he met Priscilla (or Prisca) and her husband Aquila, tentmakers by trade like Paul, Jewish, and just arrived from Rome, from which city the Emperor Claudius had recently expelled the Jewish community. (The Roman historian Suetonius tells us that Claudius expelled the Jews from Rome because they were rioting on account of someone named "Chrestus" -- presumably referring to disputes between Christian and non-Christian Jews.)

Pope Saint Benedict XI

The papacy of Pope Saint Benedict XI began in 1303 and ended one year later in 1304. He was the author of a volume of sermons and commentaries on a part of the Gospel of Saint Matthew, the Psalms, the Book of Job, and the Apocalypse.

Saint Maria Goretti

Saint Maria Goretti was the daughter of a poor Italian tenant farmer. At 11 years old she was assaulted and stabbed repeatedly by her neighbor. On her deathbed she forgave her murderer. 45 years later at her canonization, her repentant killer was in attendance.

Saint Anthony Zaccaria

Saint Anthony Mary Zaccaria was the founder of the Clerks Regular of St. Paul, later called the Barnabites from the name of their principal church in Rome. He was a great figure in the Counter-Reformation. He was a zealous and untiring preacher and completely wore himself out at this work; he died at the age of thirty-six on July 5, 1539.

Saint Thomas the Apostle

St. Thomas was called to be one of the twelve Apostles. He was a dedicated but impetuous follower of Christ. Tradition says that at the dispersal of the Apostles after Pentecost this saint was sent to evangelize the Parthians, Medes, and Persians; he ultimately reached India, carrying the Faith to the Malabar coast, which still boasts a large native population calling themselves "Christians of St. Thomas."

Saint Oliver Plunkett

Saint Oliver Plunkett was the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland who was executed by the English Crown as the last victim of the Popish Plot.

Saint Junipero Serra

Junípero Serra Ferrer, O.F.M., was a Spanish Franciscan friar who founded missions 21 in California, including San Diego to San Francisco. He is often called The Apostle of California.

The First Martyrs of the Church of Rome

The holy men and women are also called the “Protomartyrs of Rome.” They were accused of burning Rome by Nero , who burned Rome to cover his own crimes. Some martyrs were burned as living torches at evening banquets, some crucified, others were fed to wild animals. These martyrs died before Sts. Peter and Paul, and are called “disciples of the Apostles. . . whom the Holy Roman church sent to their Lord before the Apostles’ death.”

Saint Paul

Saint Paul, the indefatigable Apostle of the Gentiles, was converted from Judaism on the road to Damascus. He remained some days in Damascus after his Baptism, and then went to Arabia, possibly for a year or two to prepare himself for his future missionary activity. Having returned to Damascus, he stayed there for a time, preaching in the synagogues that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. For this he incurred the hatred of the Jews and had to flee from the city. He then went to Jerusalem to see Peter and pay his homage to the head of the Church.

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