Yesterday, August 8, was the Feast of Saint Dominic, founder of the Dominican Order. The order has a long and venerable history of missionary work in China.
Father Gaspar de la Cruz, the first Dominican missioned to China, arrived in Guangdong Province in 1555. After 1633, Dominicans started mission work in the eastern provinces of Zhejiang, Jiangsu, and Fujian. To this day, Chinese Catholic communities in these regions, and others, look back with profound gratitude to the Dominicans, who made great sacrifices to bring the faith.
As it turns out, the first Chinese priest, Gregorius LUO Wenzao, was a Dominican. In 1685, he went on to be ordained the first native Chinese bishop.
By the middle of the twentieth century, the Dominicans had 98 missionaries working in China. They ran 319 schools, 14 hospitals and clinics, 10 orphanages, and a home for the aged.
Dear Lord Jesus, continue to watch over the sons and daughters of Saint Dominic. Make their preaching and ministry fruitful! Amen.