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Sign Up Forums Saintly Advocates St. Mark Ji Tianxiang

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    Mark Lisney

    St. Mark Ji Tianxiang was born in China in 1834. He was a wealthy and respected physician who treated the poor for free and was a practicing Catholic and family man. After he began treating his own stomach ailment, St. Mark Ji became addicted to opium. He was unsuccessful in his attempts to find consistent, sustained sobriety and recovery. His addiction lasted for 30 years.

    As an active Catholic, St. Mark Ji sought help through the Sacraments, daily prayer, and attendance at Mass. After several years of regular Reconciliation, he was told by his confessor that he was unrepentant due to his persistent addiction and that he could no longer receive absolution and the Eucharist. St. Mark Ji persisted in daily prayer and fulfilled his Sunday obligation, without receiving Communion, for the remainder of his life. He prayed for martyrdom as a way to find Salvation.

    In 1900, St. Mark Ji Tianxiang was beheaded, along with 119 other Catholics who refused to renounce the Faith during the period of the Boxer Rebellion uprising. He requested to be killed last so his family members would not have to die alone. He went to his death singing the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary. St. Mark Ji Tianxiang was canonized in October of 2000 by St. Pope John Paul II. His Feast Day is celebrated on July 9th.


    Wow! What steadfastness, what faithfulness, what a powerful example to me to keep my eyes focused on Jesus Christ, the only one who can save me.
    Thak you for sharing Mark.

    Mark Lisney

    This saint has touched my spirit in a way I cannot adequately express. His perseverance in prayer and Mass and acceptance of the withholding of absolution and denial of Communion moves me to tears. When I started an in-person meeting at my parish, I decided to ask him to be our patron saint and I pray daily for his care of our group. A beautiful soul and great advocate!

    Angela Mensah

    Oh my goodness! What a beautiful story. Yesterday our homily pointed out how the persistence of prayer was being faithful to God even though this persistence may not seem successful in our eyes. For me, this was eye-opening and it demonstrates why this saint is a mark of a true Christian even though he was denied absolution. How fascinating. I tell you, I do not completely understand martyrdom and the acceptance of suffering but as a convert, I am still learning. It is also beautiful that this injustice toward him during these times was made right by St. Pope John Paul II and now we get to honor him and learn from his story. Thank you for introducing him to us.

    Celeste Robichaux

    To our modern sensibilities, it sounds horrible that St Mark was denied absolution and Communion due to his addiction. Keep in mind that back then, addiction was not recognized as a disease. We cannot judge people of the 19th century by 21st century standards.

    St Mark is an excellent patron for us, and an example of perseverance in the face of unimaginable difficulties.


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