Wang Li, Mary, St.

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Lay martyr; b. 1851, Wei County, Hebei (Hopeh) Province, China; d. 1900 Daning, Hebei. Mary Wang Li (Li-Shih or Li-Cheu) was captured by the Boxers as she tried to escape the persecution with her two children. Although her neighbors tried to persuade her captors that she was not a Christian and, therefore, should be spared, Mary stated simply, "Please, do not beg them for my life. I am certainly one of the faithful and my family has been for generations." Thereupon she was beheaded. Mary was among the 2,072 killed between June and August 1900 whose causes were submitted to the Vatican. Of these, 56, including Mary Wang Li, were beatified by Pope Pius XII (April 17, 1955) and canonized (Oct. 1, 2000) by Pope John Paul II with Augustine Zhao Rong and companions.

Feast: July 20.

Bibliography: 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 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]