Saturday, July 22nd, is the Feast Day of Saint Anna Wang - The Patron Saint of China. She lived a life of great struggle and is remembered as a true example of perseverance in the face of extreme hardship.
Saint Anna was born in the Xingtai Hebei Province in China in 1886. She grew up in a Catholic family, and was extremely dedicated to her faith. At a young age, Anna's mother passed away. Following her mother's passing, she spent her time studying and devoting herself to her faith. When she was 10 years old, she decided to dedicate her whole life to God.
In 1900, the Boxers (a Chinese political and religious group) began persecutions against Christians living in China. As the Boxers made their way to Anna's village, she took shelter in a nearby Catholic school with a group of women, who were also Catholic. Anna took it upon herself to lead the women in prayer, despite the circumstances around them. She helped the woman continue to keep their faith by encouraging them through the difficult time.
As a group of Boxers reached the school and found the women in hiding, a Boxer leader demanded the women renounce God or die. As the Boxers took Anna's stepmother, Anna said, "I want to believe in God. I want to remain a Catholic. I do not want to leave the church! Jesus help me!" The following morning, the group of Boxers took the women to their execution and again, demanded that they renounce God or die. When it was Anna's turn, she kneeled, holding her hands to the sky and said, "The door of heaven is open for all! Jesus, Jesus, Jesus"... Shortly after, she was killed.
Many witnesses have come forward to share this account, and acknowledge her bravery, peace and trust in the Lord. Through an extremely difficult time, Anna continued to stay confident in our Lord, His love and His promise of eternal life. Her dedication and trust in God is something that truly inspired others. St. Anna was an incredible woman who lived her life with great commitment to God, serving both Him and those around her with love and compassion.
In December, 2000, Anna was canonized among 120 Chinese men, women and children.
Image courtesy of: The Holy Name of Jesus
Inspiring quotes by Saint Anna
"The door of heaven is open to all."
"The best way to bring joy into our lives is through loving-kindness and service to others.”
“Our faith will always take us where we need to go.”
“We can make our dreams come true through the power of positive thinking.”
May Saint Anna's love continue to bless our world, now and forevermore. Saint Anna, pray for us!
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