Chen Ximan, Simon, St.

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Lay Franciscan martyr, servant; also known as Simon (Ximan) Tseng or Tceng; b. 1854, Anyang, Lucheng Xian, Shanxi Province, China; d. July 9, 1900, Taiyüan, Shanxi Province, China. Simon was the middle child of the three sons of Joseph Chen and Anotonia Li, who themselves had been born into Catholic families and had worked for the Church. Although illness prevented Simon from completing his seminary studies in Taiyüan, it did not hinder his commitment to celibacy and service to God as a catechist. During his decades as footman to Bishop Fu (Francesco Fogolla), he organized the bishop's trip to the 1897 International Exhibition in Turin, Italy, and traveled with him. During the Boxer Uprising, he was trapped with several dozen Christians in the Taiyüan cathedral. They were arrested and imprisoned prior to execution. His relics were collected by Fr. Fang Ho and taken to the shrine in Peng Chiao, Taipei, Taiwan, in the mid-twentieth century. Simon was beatified by Pope Pius XII (Nov. 24, 1946) and canonized (Oct. 1,2000) by Pope John Paul II with Augustine Zhao Rong and companions.

Feast: July 4.

Bibliography: l. m. balconi, Le Martiri di Taiyuen (Milan 1945). Acta Apostolicae Sedis 47 (1955) 381388; Vita del b. A. Crescitelli (Milan 1950). m. t. de blarer, Les Bse Marie Hermine de Jésus et ses compagnes, franciscaines missionnaires de Marie, massacrées le 9 juillet 1900 à Tai-Yuan-Fou, Chine (Paris 1947). Les Vingt-neuf martyrs de Chine, massacrés en 1900, béatifiés par Sa Sainteté Pie XII, le 24 novembre, 1946 (Rome 1946). l. miner, China's Book of Martyrs: A Record of Heroic Martyrdoms and Marvelous Deliverances of Chinese Christians During the Summer of 1900 (Ann Arbor, MI 1994). j. simon, Sous le sabre des Boxers (Lille 1955). c. testore, Sangue e palme sul fiume giallo. I beati martiri cinesi nella persecuzione della Boxe Celi Sud-Est, 1900 (Rome 1955). L'Osservatore Romano, Eng. Ed. 40 (2000): 12, 10.

[k. i. rabenstein]