Feast Day of St. John Gabriel Perboyre
St. John was the oldest son of a farmer in Le Puech, France. He had seven younger siblings. Three of the brothers joined the Vincentian Fathers and two of the Daughter became Daughters of Charity.
When his younger brother was accepted into the Vincentian Seminary, his parents asked him to accompany the brother until he was settled. He was surprised to find that he was also drawn to join the Vincentians. His parents supported his decision to join the order rather than return home to farm.
In 1820, St. John was ordained a Vincentian priest. He hoped to become a missionary and travel to China, however he was assigned to be a supervisor of the mother-house in Paris.
In 1835, he began his journey to China as a missionary. It took five months to arrive. He served the poor in Ho Nan China before being transferred to Hubei.
Persecution began in 1839 and St. John Gabriel was arrested. After being tortured, he was found guilty of preaching Christianity and condemned to death. He was tied to a stake and strangled. His body was retrieved and buried in the mission cemetery.
Pope John Paul II canonized St. John Gabriel Perboyre in 1996.
He is known to have said: “One does good for souls only by prayer. In all that you do, work only to please God, otherwise you would waste your time and effort.”
St. John Gabriel Perboyre, pray for us.