Monday, November 7, 2011

St. Peter Ou

St. Peter Ou is one of the Martyrs of China. He was born to a non-Christian family in 1768. As a young man, he was outspoken, had a deep understanding of justice, and would come to the defense of the poor and oppressed.

He married and ran his own business, a large hotel. He was one of the first to convert to Christianity after missionaries arrived in his area and took the name Peter at baptism. He enthusiastically preached Christianity to anyone who came by, later becoming a lay leader of the converts in his district. He also worked as a catechist.

In 1814, he was imprisoned and tortured in a violent backlash against the faith. Under these conditions, he continued to inspire his fellow prisoners to the faith and he led prayer services in the cells. He was sentenced to death for refusing to apostatize by stepping on a crucifix.

St. Peter Ou was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2000.

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