Martyr and Catechist (ca. 1840-1900)
+ Joseph was born in Qianshenzhuang, Hebei, China.
+ A lifelong layman, he served his community as a physician and catechist.
+ During the anti-Western and anti-Christian persecutions of the Boxer Rebellion, Joseph’s family denied their Christian faith in order to save their lives. Joseph, however, remained steadfast and died as a martyr on June 26, 1900, in Wangla, Hebei, China.
+ Saint Joseph Ma Taishun was canonized with other Chinese martyrs in 2000.
On June 26, the Church honors the memory of Saints John and Paul. These martyrs were said to have been servants of Constantia, the daughter of the emperor Constantine, who were murdered during the persecution initiated by the emperor Julian “the Apostate.” They are named in the Roman Canon (First Eucharistic Prayer).
“This is the one who was not deserted by God on the day of struggle and now wears a crown of victory for faithfulness to the Lord’s commands.”—Entrance Antiphon for the Mass of One Martyr
O God, who were pleased to give light to your Church by adorning blessed Joseph with the victory of martyrdom, graciously grant that, as he imitated the Lord’s Passion, so we may, by following in his footsteps, be worthy to attain eternal joys. 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 Martyr)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.