Martyr – (1768-1814)
+ Wu Gousheng was born into a non-Christian family in the Guizhou Province of China.
+ A husband and businessman, he was respected for his personal warmth and sense of justice for the poor.
+ He became one of the first converts to Christianity after missionaries arrived in his region. He took the name “Peter” at this baptism. He enthusiastically threw out his household idols and taught about Jesus to anyone who came to stay in the guesthouse he owned.
+ Peter eventually became a recognized lay leader of the Christian community and worked as a catechist for the missionaries in Sichuan, instructing more than 600 people in the Christian Faith.
+ He was arrested on April 3, 1814, during one of the frequent periods of persecution. Although he was tortured in an effort to make him deny his faith, he continued to minister to other imprisoned Christians and even led prayers services in the prison cells. He was ultimately condemned to death for refusing to step on a crucifix. He was strangled to death on November 7, 1814, and was canonized with other Martyrs of China in 2000.
On November 8, the Church also remembers Pope Saint Adeodatus I. He served as bishop of Rome during a time marked by political unrest that brought great challenges to the Church. He is said to have been the first pope to use bullae (lead seals) on papal documents. These bullae are the origin of the term “Papal Bull.” Pope Saint Adeodatus died in 618.
“The martyrs do not live for themselves, they do not fight to affirm their own ideas; they accept the duty to die solely on account of fidelity to the Gospel.”—Pope Francis
O God, who were pleased to give light to your Church by adorning blessed Peter 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)