The past of our Congregation’s ministry in China was filled with dramatic turns and twists of events. Our ministry was immortalized by the martyrdom of Briega who, though not in Chinese soil, shed his blood for China. As China still remains an enigma as far as evangelization is concerned, maintaining our relationship with the community that was formed by our predecessors is a privilege rather than a responsibility to remain relevant as ministers of the word in China.
My first visit to Huangshan, the holy ground of our ministry in China was made to visit the few living faithful who knew our missionaries personally. I met two of them, Nicholas and Liberado. They were students of the medical college run by Bro. Torres CMF in the 1947-48 batch which consisted of 9 students.
The story of Nicholas is already familiar to many Claretians through the book we had published ‘Retracing their FOOTPRINTS’. Nicholas survived 20 years of incarceration in the jail for being a Catholic by transcribing the Spanish New Testament that he had managed to smuggle into the jail. That handwritten copy is preserved with us in Macau. Fr. Mario procured a papal blessing for Nicholas he received with great emotion.