Celebration of the feast of 120 Chinese martyrs
Among them St. Paul Tchen, educated thanks to the Holy Childhood, who became a seminarian, was beheaded in 1861 during the persecutions against Catholics, the first martyr belonging to the Society. Canonized in 2000 by Pope John Paul II
Paul Tchen (Chen Changpin) was born on 11 April 1838 in Sintchen, in the Chinese province of Kouy-tcheou (Guizhou), into a non-Christian and very poor family. Paul was able to receive an education thanks to the support of the Pontifical Society of Holy Childhood. Admitted to the minor seminary in 1853, he was baptized and confirmed on Christmas day of the same year and made his First Communion in 1854. Of a sweet and quiet character, he refused to return to his family at the invitation of his father, as his vocation was solid. In 1860 he entered the Tsin-gay major seminary. Here on June 12, 1861, soldiers raided and arrested Paul and other people on charges of being Christians. Despite the sufferings and threats, no one denies their faith. Paul and the other comrades are killed on July 29, 1861, the seminary is destroyed. Beatified by Pius X in 1908, his remains were transferred to Paris, in the Chapel of the Holy Childhood of the Cathedral of Notre Dame, on 10 June 1920. On 1 October 2000, the Holy Father John Paul II canonized him in St. Peter's Square in the group of 120 Chinese martyrs.