Τετάρτη 8 Ιουνίου 2016

Orthodox martyrs blood, saints and spiritual agonists in China

The Orthodox Church of China

Chinese Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Holy Martyrs of China were martyred in the Boxer (Yihetuan Movement) Rebellion in 1900.

On all major issues the Orthodox Church of China is in agreement with other Eastern Orthodox churches (Eastern Orthodoxy.)

Bishops Yuvenaly and Dimitry (Voznesensky), the father of Metropolitan Philaret, with the clergy and worshipers of the Mother of God of Kazan Monastery in Harbin.
 Bishops Yuvenaly and Dimitry (Voznesensky), the father of Metropolitan Philaret, with the clergy and worshipers of the Mother of God of Kazan Monastery in Harbin.
The Orthodox tradition was transplanted onto Chinese soil in 1686 when a group of Cossacks serving in the Chinese imperial guard brought their chaplain with them. However, it was only in the next century that Eastern Orthodoxy was permanently established in China. This was achieved when Missionaries from the Russian Orthodox Church set up a mission in Peking in 1715. During the next two hundred years missionary activity was relatively slow; by 1914 the church had only acquired about 5000 converts.
The situation changed in 1917 following the Russian revolution which caused hundreds of thousands of Russians to flee Russia into China. By 1939 there were an estimated 300,000 adherents of Eastern Orthodoxy in China.
The situation changed again in 1949 when a Communist government was established in China under Mao Tse Tung and foreign missionaries where expelled from the country. Fortunately, for the Orthodox Church in China the Russians had by that time established a seminary to train Chinese priests. In 1950 the first Chinese orthodox bishop was consecrated; a second was consecrated in 1957.

The Orthodox Church, like other traditions, was driven underground 1966 when institutional religion was abolished by the state and the excesses of the Cultural Revolution were beginning to take place. Since that time it has been difficult to obtain information about the state of the church. It is to be hoped that recent changes in Chinese politics will enable members of the Orthodox Church of China to practice their beliefs unhindered by state interference.
More here.

Orthodox in Taiwan (from here)

The Holy Martyrs of China
From here

The Holy Martyrs of China were martyred in the Boxer (Yihetuan Movement) Rebellion in 1900. Their feast day is celebrated on June 11.

Priest Mitrophan 

 The priest Mitrophan (also Metrophanes), whose Chinese name was Ji chong or Tsi Chung (the English transliterations vary), was born on December 10, 1855. He lost his father in early childhood and was raised under the care of his grandmother Ekaterina and his mother Marina; his mother was a teacher at a school for women. At this time he experienced many troubles. When Archimandrite Pallady became head of the mission for the second time, he charged his teacher Juren Long Yuan to take great care in educating Mitrophan, in order to prepare him for his eventual ordination. Before reaching twenty years of age, he was appointed to the post of catechist. At 25 he was ordained to the priesthood by Nikolai, bishop of Japan.

Mitrophan was a humble person, very cautious and quiet, peaceful and dispassionate; even when faced with great insults, he did not try to justify himself. From the time of his arrival in Beijing (北京, Peking), Archimandrite Pallady charged Mitrophan, as did his teacher Long Yuan, to try to attain the priesthood. Mitrophan, however, did not want to accept ordination and constantly refused it, saying "how can a person with insufficient abilities and charity dare to accept this great rank?" But under the forceful urging of Archimandrite Flavian, succesor to Pallady, and the persuasion of the teacher, Mitrophan obeyed, even though he knew that by accepting the priesthood, his end would be inevitable. Under Archimandrite Flavian, Mitrophan assisted in translating and checking books. For fifteen years, he tirelessly served God while suffering many hurts and insults, both from his own people and outsiders. He finally had a mild breakdown. Sometime after this he spent three years living outside the mission, receiving half of his previous salary. All his life Father Mitrophan was never greedy, and many took advantage of this.

On the evening of June 1, 1900 (which was the 17th day of the 5th month on the Chinese calendar)1, the Boxers (Yihetuan Movement) burned the buildings of the mission. About seventy Christians, hiding from danger, assembled in St Mitrophan's home. Although Fr. Mitrophan's former ill-wishers were among them, he did not drive them out. Seeing that some people were dispirited, he strengthened them, saying that the time of troubles had come and would be difficult to avoid. He himself several times daily went to look at the burned church. On the 10th of June, towards 10 in the evening, soldiers and Boxers surrounded Fr. Mitrophan's dwelling. Up to seventy Christians were there at the time; the stronger among them fled, while Fr. Mitrophan and many others, primarily women and children, remained and were tortured. Fr. Mitrophan sat in his courtyard when the Boxers punctured his chest, and he fell under a date tree. His neighbors removed his body to the mission's almshouse. Later the hieromonk Avraamy picked up Fr. Mitrophan's body and, in 1903, during the first commemoration of the martyrs, it and those of the others, were placed under the altar in the martyrs' church.

Fr. Mitrophan’s family members were also tortured; they included his wife Tatiana and his three sons: the eldest, named Isaiah; the second, called Sergiy, a priest; and the third, Ioann. 


On June 11, Tatiana was saved from the Boxers with help from her son Isaiah's bride, but on the following morning, June 12, she was seized along with 19 others and sent to Xiaoyingfang, where the Boxer camp was located, and was finally executed by beheading. An almshouse for the poor now stands on the place of her execution.

Isaiah had served in the military for 23 years. On June 7, the Boxers beheaded him because he was known to be a Christian. 

Ioann (John) was only eight years old at the time. On June 10, when his father was killed, Boxers slashed his shoulders and chopped off his nose, ears, and toes. His brother Isaiah's bride managed to save him from death by hiding him in a latrine. In the morning he sat at the entrance without clothes and shoes, and when people asked "Are you hurting?" he answered “It doesn't hurt." Boys scoffed at him, calling him a “child of demons." Shortly thereafter, he reposed. 
Apolytikion. Tone one
Minister to Christ, true priest of glory, reasonable sacrifice and blameless victim, thou gavest thyself up to the stadium with thy flock, O father, Chi - Sung in Beijing. Therefore pray for us who keep thy precious memory with faith. 

Apolytikion. Tone two
Thou hast become a participator in the customs of the Apostles and a successor to their throne thou hast found the way of ascending to behold God, by thy faithful struggle unto blood with thy flock in Beijing, O God inspired, hieromartyr Chi - Sung Pray to Christ our God, that our souls might be saved.
See also:

Symeon (Du) of Shanghai
From here
His Grace, the Right Reverend Simeon (Du Runchen) of Shanghai was the bishop of Shanghai of the Church of China during the middle of the twentieth century. 
Born Fyodor Du on February 11, 1886 in China, Fyodor was a descendent of the Russian cossacks from Albazin who were settled in Beijing in 1685 after the Russian settlement of Albazin was destroyed by the Chinese army. His father was a church reader.
He and his family escaped miraculously from the mobs of the Boxer (Yihetuan Movement) Rebellion of 1900.
Fyodor attended theological courses at seminary classes of the Russian Orthodox Mission in Beijing. He completed these courses in 1904. After completing his studies he continued his activities at the mission as a reader and catechist. In 1908, Bishop Innocent, chief of the mission,ordained Fyodor a deacon, at the age of 22. Bp. Innocent appointed him to serve at the mission metochion, the Annunciation Church, in Harbin. In addition to his duties as deacon, Fyodor served as a missionary, the treasurer, and manager of the parish’s office in Harbin.
With the arrival of many refugee Christians from Russia in 1919, he was active in publishing Russian textbooks for the schools in Harbin.
His life as a missionary took him to many cities in China, including Shanghai, Hankou, Haimin, Kaifeng, Weihou, and Mukden, as well as to localities in Manchuria. In 1932, he was assigned to duties in Tianjin where, in 1934, he was elevated to protodeacon.
On September 16, 1941, Dn. Fyodor was ordained to the priesthood and made priest-in-charge of the St Innocent Mission Church in Tainjin. In 1943, he was elevated to archpriest and in 1945, he was awarded a “palitza”. In early 1950, Fr. Fyodor traveled to the Soviet Union, where he accompanied Patriarch Alexei to a conference in Tblisi, Georgia, of the Russian, Georgian, and Armenian Churches.
On July 23, 1950, Fr. Fyodor was tonsured a monk at Trinity-Sergius Lavra and given the name Symeon. Two days later he was raised to the dignity of archimandrite. On July 30, 1950, Arch. Simeon was consecrated Bishop of Tianjin in the Cathedral of the Annunciation in Moscow. The celebrants in the consecration were: Patriarch Alexei, Metr. Nicholas of Krutisk and Kolomna, Metr. Elevfery of Prague, Abp. Victor of Beijing, Bp. Flavian of Orlov and Briansk, and Bp. Gabriel of Vologda and Cherepvetsk.
On September 26, 1950, Bp. Simeon was installed as Bishop of Shanghai.
Bp. Simeon reposed on March 3, 1965.

Archpriest Stefan Wu Zhiquan (New Martyr)
   Fr Stefan Wu was a Chinese born in Beijing at the Mission on January 28, 1925. The Russians also knew him by his Manchu surname Min. He undertook theological training and served as reader in Ss Peter & Paul church in Hong Kong. Fr Stefan was musically trained as a choir director. As a priest, he served as the last rector in Harbin at St Alexis church.
Before his temple they have put a table covered with sharp rubble, and on rubble they have put Archpriest Stefan on his knees. They have dressed him in clown's dressing gown, on his head they put up a cap, filled with metal shavings. His face was smeared with soot. During two days Father Stefan was beaten over the head with a wooden hammer, was beaten with steel sticks on shoulders, they spat on his cross, till, half-dead, he was taken to a prison hospital. They treated him lightly there and in the same prison they shot him. Remains of the new martyr are resting in Orthodox cemetery Sankeshu near Harbin. ["Orthodoxy in China"] During the Cultural Revolution on May 17, 1970, he died in a Harbin prison after 3 years of incarceration and much suffering. His grave is currently located at the Huangshan Russian Orthodox Cemetery
Fr. Elias Wen

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