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Grassi, Gregorio, St.


Bishop and martyr; b. Castellazzo Bormida (Alessandria), Italy, Dec. 13, 1833; d. Taiyüanfu (Shanxi), China, July 9, 1900. Grassi joined the Franciscans in 1848 and was ordained in 1856. In 1861 he went to the Shanxi Province in northern China, where he labored for four decades. He became titular bishop of Ortosia and coadjutor with right of succession (1876), then vicar apostolic of northern Shanxi (1891). During the Boxer Rebellion he was imprisoned in his residence at Taiyüanfu and put to death four days later. Martyred with him were Bp. Francesco fogolla, his coadjutor; seven sisters, Franciscan Missionaries of Mary; five Chinese seminarians; and nine servants. All were beatified Nov. 24, 1946, and canonized on Oct. 1, 2000.

Feast: July 9.

Bibliography: Acta Apostolicae Sedis 41 (1949) 84, 472473; 39 (1947) 213221, 307311. Les Vingt-neuf martyrs de Chine, massacrés en 1900, béatifiés par Sa Sainteté Pie XII, le 24 novembre 1946 (Rome 1946). a. butler, The Lives of the Saints, rev. ed. h. thurston and d. attwater (New York 1956) 3:5962.

[j. krahl]

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