- John Gabriel Perboyre
One of eight children born to Pierre Perboyre and Marie Rigal. At age 16 he followed his brother Louis to the seminary, and joined the Congregation of the Mission of Saint Vincent on Christmas Day 1818. Ordained in Paris on 23 September 1825. Professor of theology. Seminary rector. Assistant director of novices.
His brother died on a mission to China, and John Gabriel was asked to replace him. In March 1835 he sailed for China, and began his mission in Macao in June, 1836. A widespread persecution of Christians began in 1839, the same year England had attacked China. Father John Gabriel was denounced to the authorities by one of his catachumens, arrested, tried on 16 September 1839, tortured by hanging by his thumbs and flogging with bamboo rods, and condemned to death on 11 September 1840. Martyr. The first saint associated with China.
- lashed to a cross on a hill named the “red mountain”, then strangled with a rope on 11 September 1840 at Ou-Tchang-Fou, China
O my Divine Savior,
Transform me into Yourself.
May my hands be the hands of Jesus.
Grant that every faculty of my body
May serve only to glorify You.
Transform my soul and all its powers
So that my memory, will and affection
May be the memory, will and affections
I pray You
To destroy in me all that is not of You.
Grant that I may live but in You, by You and for You,
So that I may truly say, with Saint Paul,
“I live – now not I – But Christ lives in me.
- Saint John Gabriel