“The Church everywhere proclaims the Gospel of Christ, despite persecutions, discriminations, attacks and at times hostile indifference. These, in fact, enable her to share the lot of her Master and Lord.” — Pope Benedict XVI, Christmas Message, December 25, 2009.
I find myself thinking about this after reading the report on the website of Fides which is the Vatican’s information agency for the world missions, about the death of Archbishop John Yang Shudao, archbishop emeritus of Fuzhou in China. Archbishop Shudao died at age 91 after spending 26 years in prison as a priest, then sentenced to life in prison in 1955 for refusing to deny the Pope as head of the Catholic Church. He was released in 1981, only to be imprisoned again for 3 years and then being put on house arrest the rest of his life. He was a heroic witness to the Gospel.
News like this is seldom reported, even in the Catholic press.
May he rest in peace, and may we draw strength from his faith.