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Saturday 18 September |
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Saint Peter Wu Gousheng

Condemned to Death for Refusing to Step on a Crucifix


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Catechist and Martyr (1768-1814)

His life

+ Wu Gousheng was born into a non-Christian family in Longpin (Guizhou Province), China.

+ As a young man, he had a marked sense of justice and was quick to defend the poor and marginalized. These actions sometimes placed him at odds with the people of his traditional region.

+ A married man, he operated an in for travelers and he became one of the first in his community to accept the Christian Faith, taking the name “Peter” at his baptism.

+ Peter was a zealous convert and he would proclaim Christ to everyone he met. He became a lay leader of the converts in his area and, later, he worked as a catechist for the European missionaries in Sichuan. It is said that he instructed more than 600 people preparing for baptism.

+ Peter was arrested on April 3, 1814, during a period of persecution. Imprisoned and tortured, he nevertheless inspired the faith of the other imprisoned Christians and even led them in reciting prayers.

+ Peter was ultimately condemned to death for refusing to trample on a crucifix and he was strangled to death on November 7, 1814. He was canonized in 2000 with other Martyrs of China and they are celebrated collectively on September 28.

For reflection

Be loyal to the Lord, accept his will.”—from a letter written by Saint Peter to his wife


Almighty and merciful God, who brought your Martyr blessed Peter to overcome the torments of his passion, grant that we, who celebrate the day of his triumph, may remain invincible under your protection against the snares of the enemy. 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)

Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

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