Zhang Jingguang, St.

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Franciscan seminarian, martyr; b. 1878, Fujing Cun, Taigu Xian, Shanxi Province, China; d. July 9, 1900, Taiyüan, Shanxi Province. John Zhang Jinguang (also given as Chiang, Tchang, or Zhang Jingguang) was one of the five children of Maria Ren and Zhang Zhiqian, who died while his son was in the seminary at Dongergou. In 1893 John entered the major seminary at Taiyüan, where he was known for his piety, obedience to his superiors, and observance of the Rule. Bp. Francesco Fogolla installed him as acolyte in 1897. Thereafter he began his theological studies. Following the destruction of a Protestant church by the Boxers (June 17, 1900), most of the seminarians returned to their families. John remained with his bishop and was captured and martyred with him. He 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 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]