China: Bishop Peter Zhang Bairen has died

 Bishop Peter Zhang Bairen of Hanyang, Hubei province mainland China, died on October 12, at the age of 90. Born on 14 February 1915 in Zhangjiazhuang, Xiantao district, 1,230 km south of Beijing, he came from a devout Catholic family. At the age of 21 Peter entered the major diocesan seminary and then studied in Rome from 1937 to 1945 for a doctorate in theology while staying at Urban College. He was ordained a priest in 1942 and then Bishop of Hanyang in 1986. In 1957 when police threatened to kill him if he did not renounce his loyalty to the Pope Fr Peter said: "Go ahead and shoot, I will not renounce my faith". Recently the elderly prelate recalled that moment: "They did not shoot me, instead they gave me 24 years of prison and forced labour". He said he was very proud to have the grace, obtained he said by the intercession of Most Holy Mary, to remain loyal to the Pope, as a bishop and his whole diocese. Bishop Zhang will be remembered as a man of great faith, courage and kindness. His spirit of evangelisation when beyond the little village where he had retired some years ago: the entire province remembers him as a saintly man who introduced thousands to faith in Christ above all with his witness of enthusiasm and sincere hospitality for all despite his own personal poverty and with his visits to the sick. Large crowds of local Catholic attended the Bishop's funeral on Saturday . Hanyang is one of three satellite cities which make up Wuhan, main city of the central Chinese province of Hubei. The diocese has seven priests, four seminarians, six sisters and 20,000 faithful. Source: Fides

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