St. Augustine Zhao Rong and his 119 companions were all martyred for trying to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ.They knew that it was a dangerous place to be doing this, and had to take their faith underground throughout the centuries.The Good News of Jesus Christ is intended to benefit all peoples; and the martyrs knew that.John Paul II reminded a crowd of Chinese and Western Scholars one year after these saints were canonized that history reminds us of the unfortunate times in the church’s past when catechizing was not always easy.
Prayer to Saint Augustine Zhao Rong and Companions
O righteous band of martyrs united by faith in Christ and His Church in a nation of religious oppression: children and grandparents, workers and teachers, lay and ordained, native and foreign-born, all as one as you gave your lives, led by your convictions.
Pray the Word of the Lord comes to a land so cold to conversion, to the love and worship of Jesus, all men’s Saviour. Pray the Holy Spirit fall like purging and redeeming fire upon every soul in the country where you so honourably died; pray His power spreads and bring renewal upon the face of all the earth.
All-powerful, ever-living God, turn our weakness into strength. As you gave Augustine Zhao Rong and the martyrs of China the courage to suffer death for Christ, give us the courage to live in faithful witness to you. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.
O God, who in your wonderful providence have strengthened your Church through the confession of the Martyrs Saint Augustine Zhao and companions, grant that your people, faithful to the mission entrusted to it, may enjoy ever greater freedom and witness to the truth before the world. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the HOly Spirit, God, for ever and ever.