Sanz y Jordá, Pedro Mártir, St.
SANZ Y JORDÁ, PEDRO MÁRTIR, ST.
Dominican bishop martyr, baptized Joseph; b. Sept. 22, 1680, Asco (Tortosa), Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain; d. May 26, 1747, Fukien (Fuzou), Tunkien, China. Upon entering the Dominican convent at Lerida at age 18, Sanz changed his name to Peter Martyr. There he was ordained on Sept. 24, 1704. After volunteering for the Chinese mission, he was sent to the Philippines for two years to study the language (1713–1715). For the next 31 years he labored furtively under extremely difficult conditions among the Chinese. In 1730 he was named vicar apostolic of Tunkien and consecrated bishop of Mauricastra in Guangdong. When he learned that others had been arrested and were being tortured in an effort to find him, he surrendered himself to authorities. Just before being beheaded, he turned to his executioner and said: "Rejoice with me, my friend; I am going to heaven!" And as his head lay on the block: "If you want to save your soul, my friend, you must obey the law of God!" Because his sanctity was recognized by his contemporaries, his relics, which would not burn, were collected. He was beatified by Pope Leo XIII (May 14, 1893) and canonized (Oct. 1, 2000) by Pope John Paul II with Augustine Zhao Rong and companions.
Feast: June 5.
Bibliography: m. j. savignol, Les Martyrs dominicains de la Chine au XVIIIe siècle (Paris 1893). h. i. iweins, Le Bx Pierre Sanz et ses quatre compagnons (Ostende 1893). j. m. gonzÁlez, Misiones dominicanas en China, 1700–1750 (Madrid 1952). m. j. dorcy, Saint Dominic's Family (Dubuq, Iowa 1963), 484–87.
[k. i. rabenstein]