Vincentian Priest and Martyr: 1802-1840
+ Jean Gabriel was born in Le Peuch, France. At the age of 16, he began seminary studies and entered the Congregation of the Missions (the Vincentians). Ordained a priest in 1825, he served his community as theology professor, seminary rector, and assistant director of novices.
+ Jean Gabriel had a brother who was also a Vincentian priest who died while serving as a missionary in China. Jean Gabriel was asked to take his place. He arrived in China in 1836.
+ A widespread persecution of Christians began in 1839 (prompted by an English attack on China that led to the “Opium War” [1839-1842]). Father Jean Gabriel was betrayed by one of his catechumens and was arrested and tried for the crime of being a Christian on September 16, 1839.
+ Imprisoned for nearly a year, he suffered extreme torture before being lashed to a cross on a hill called “Red Mountain” and strangled to death on September 11, 1840.
+ Saint Jean Gabriel Perboyre was canonized in 1996.
“O my Divine Savior,
Transform me into Yourself.
Grant that I may live but in You, by You, and for You,
So that I may truly say, with Saint Paul,
“I live – now not I – But Christ lives in me.”—Saint Jean Gabriel Perboyre
Grant, we pray, almighty God, that we may follow with due devotion the faith of blessed Jean Gabriel, who, for spreading the faith, merited the crown of martyrdom. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Martyrs—For One Missionary Martyr)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.