Feast of the day

Feast Of The Day

7/9/2019 12:00:00 AM

AGOSTINO ZHAO RONG
Priest and martyr (+ 1815)
and Companions 
Martyrs in China

        A period of persecution in regard to the Christian religion occurred in the nineteenth century.

        While Catholicism had been authorised by some Emperors in the preceding centuries, Emperor Kia-Kin (1796-1821) published, instead, numerous and severe decrees against it. The first was issued in 1805. Two edicts of 1811 were directed against those among the Chinese who were studying to receive sacred orders, and against priests who were propagating the Christian religion. A decree of 1813 exonerated voluntary apostates from every chastisement, that is, Christians who spontaneously declared that they would abandon their faith, but all others were to be dealt with harshly.

        In 1815 there came two other decrees, with which approval was given to the conduct of the Viceroy of Sichuan who had beheaded Monsignor Dufresse, of the Paris Foreign Missions Society (M.E.P), and some Chinese Christians. As a result, there was a worsening of the persecution.

        St. John Gabriel Taurin Dufresse, M.E.P, Bishop, was arrested on the 18th of May 1815, taken to Chengdu, condemned and executed on the 14th of September 1815.

        Saint Augustine Zhao Rong was a Chinese diocesan priest. Having first been one of the soldiers who had escorted Monsignor Dufresse from Chengdu to Beijing, he was moved by his patience and had then asked to be numbered among the neophytes. Once baptised, he was sent to the seminary and then ordained a priest. Arrested, he had to suffer the most cruel tortures and then died in 1815.

 

Saint Veronica Giuliani 
Virgin 
(1660-1727)

        Ursula Giuliani was born at Mercatello in Urbino, Italy, in 1660. Her parents, Francesco Giuliana and Benedetta Mancini, were both of gentle birth. In baptism she was named Ursula, and showed marvelous signs of sanctity. When but eighteen months old she uttered her first words to upbraid a merchant who was serving a false measure of oil, saying distinctly: "Do justice, God sees you." At the age of three years old she began to be favored with Divine communications, and to show great compassion for the poor. She would set apart a portion of her food for them, and even part with her clothes when she met a poor child in scantily clad. These traits and a great love for the Cross developed as she grew older. Ursula's father presented suitors in hopes that they would marry her; the girl became ill at the idea of not devoting her life to God, and she finally received her father's blessing on her call to religious life.

        She joigned the Poor Clares in Città di Castello, Umbria, Italy, on July 17th, 1677 at the age of 17, receiving the veil on the 28th of October and taking the name of Veronica in memory of the Passion. She became totally submissive to the will of her superiors, though her novitiate was marked by extraordinary interior trials and temptations to return to the world. At her profession in 1678 she experienced a great desire to suffer in union with our Savior crucified for the conversion of sinners. At this time, she had a vision of Christ bearing His cross and from that moment on, suffered an acute physical pain in her heart. After her death, the figure of the cross was found impressed upon her heart.


        At the age of 37, she received the stigmata in her hands, feet, and side during a long period of ecstasy on April 5th, 1697. By order of the bishop she submitted to medical treatment, but obtained no relief. She impressed her fellow nuns by remaining remarkably practical despite her numerous ecstatic experiences. Veronica was elected abbess of the convent in 1716. She wrote a ten volume Diary of the Passion, which recorded her mystical experiences.


        On July 9th, 1727 Veronica died of a stroke caused by a brain hemorrhage at the age of 67. Her heart was examined after death and "miraculously" showed images of a cross, crown of thorns, and chalice, as she had said it would. Examination also revealed a curvature of the right shoulder as if she had carried a heavy cross.


        Veronica was canonized by Gregory XVI in 1839.