SUMMARY OF THE LIVES OF
THE MAIN MARTYRS OF
COLLEGE GENERAL
 
      1. Saint Laurent Marie Joseph IMBERT, MEP
      2. Saint Jacques Honore CHASTAN, MEP
      3. Saint Philip MINH
      4. Saint Peter QUI
      5. Saint Paul Le Van LOC
      6. Saint John HOAN
      7. Saint Peter Nguyen Van LUU
 
 

 Saint Laurent Marie Joseph IMBERT, MEP

                                                                      Age
          Born          :  1796       (March 23)
          Ordained   :  1819       (Dec 18)           (23)
          In Penang  :  1821-1822  (Apr-Jan)      (25)
          Beheaded  :  1839       (Sept 21)           (43)
          Beatified    :  1925       (July 5)
          Canonised :  1984       (May 6)
 
 
 1796 Fr. Imbert was born at Marigane, south of France, to poor farmers.
 
1820 He left for China after his ordination.

1821 Bishop Florens, Vicar Apostolic of Siam, sent him to Singapore and he could be considered the first priest  to celebrate mass in modern Singapore.  On his way back to Siam he was asked to replace a sick professor in College General, Penang where he taught for ten months.

1822 He sailed for Macao but unable to go directly there.

He spent 2 years in Tonkin, North Vietnam.

1825 He arrived in Sichuan where he spent 12 years as a missionary and established a seminary in Moupin.

1837 He was appointed Vicar Apostolic to Korea and ordained Bishop.  He crossed secretly from Manchuria to Korea.

1839 To spare his flock from further hardships under persecution, he surrendered to the authorities. He invited two other priests to surrender also. Bishop Imbert refused to renounce his faith and was beheaded at Saenamt'o near Seoul.
 
 

 
 

Saint Jacques Honore CHASTAN, MEP

 
                                                                  Age
          Born          :  1803       (Oct 7)
          Ordained   :  1826       (Dec 23)       (23)
          In Penang  :  1827-1833                   (24)
          Beheaded  :  1839       (Sept 21)       (36)
          Beatified    :  1925       (July 5)
          Canonised :  1984       (May 6)
 
1803 Fr. Chastan was born in Marcoux, south-east of France, to  farmers. He had a strong desire, since little, to save souls in a foreign land.

1827 He joined the Paris Foreign Missions Society in January and in April left for Macao.

1828 till 1830, he taught full-time in College General.

1831 till 1833 Apr., he taught part-time and assisted in Pulau Tikus parish.  Fr Chastan was gifted in languages and was fluent in Chinese.

1833 he tried to enter Korea but failed.  While waiting, he did missionary work in the Shantung province.

1836 he managed to enter Korea and was in Seoul learning the language.

1839 he surrendered to protect his flock from further persecution.  He was tortured and beheaded together with Bishop Imbert and Fr Maubant.
 

 
 
 

Saint Philip MINH

 
                                                                Age
          Born          :  1815
          In Penang  :  1840-1846                 (25)
          Ordained   :  1846                          (31)
          Beheaded  :  1853       (July 3)        (38)
          Beatified    :  1900
          Canonised :  1988       (June 19)
 
 1815 Fr Minh was born in Cai-mong to an old Christian family.
 
He followed Bishop Taberd to Thailand and then to Calcutta where he worked on editing an Annamite-Latin-Annamite dictionary.

1846 He was ordained by Bishop Lefebvere and was considered the most pious and distinguished of all the local priests in the mission.

1852 He was ordered to leave Cai-mong for Mac-bat when he was denounced to the mandarins.  At Mac-bat, Fr Minh was captured, chained and interrogated for seven successive days. He refused to reveal the whereabouts of the other priests.  Fr Minh refused to trample on the cross nor deny his religion.  Before his death, he told his companions in captivity, "....I entreat you from the depth of my soul, whatever sufferings may be awaiting you, remain firm in your faith; put all your confidence in the heavenly hope, it will not fail you".  He was beheaded and buried in Cai-Mong.

Miracles attributed to Saint Philip Minh:
       1) The tree under which the coffin of Fr Minh was placed, was ablaze.
       2) Cotton which wrapped the head of Fr Minh caused the entire house to glow with light.
 
 

 
 

Saint Peter QUI

 
                                                               Age
 
          Born          :  1823
          In Penang  :  1844-1850                (21)
          Ordained   :  1858                          (35)
          Beheaded  :  1859       (July 31)      (36)
          Beatified    :  1909
          Canonised :  1988       (June 19)
 
 1823 Peter Qui was born in Bung, province of Gia Dinh, to Christian parents.

1858 Three months after his first posting as a priest in Cai-Mong, a violent persecution of Christians took place. Fr Qui was undaunted and the Christians' morale was strengthened by his presence and example.

1859 Fr Qui was arrested.  His piety and generosity towards prisoners was outstanding while in prison. He fasted, prayed, recited the rosary and responded to  the greater needs of the other prisoners.

He had a calm temper and was a quiet man.

Fr Qui comforted those who had denied the Faith out of fear and encouraged them to imitate St Peter in his repentance.

He did not fear death and was happy to face death for Christ.

While Fr Qui was being beheaded, he was clutching a small statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Fr Qui was buried in Nang Gu.
 
 

 

Saint Paul Le Van LOC

 
                                                                 Age
          Born          :  1831
          In Penang  :  1846-1853?                (15)
          Ordained   :  1856                           (25)
          Beheaded  :  1859       (Feb 13)       (28)
          Beatified    :  1909
          Canonised :  1988       (June 19)
 
 
1831 Paul Loc was born in Chi Hoa, near Saigon in Annamese Cochin China.  His father was a Christian doctor while his mother was a new convert.

1846 While in College General, the first few years were difficult due to his poor health but later he became one of the top students.

1856 After being ordained, he served in An Nhon but ill health required him to rest for a year.

Fr Loc was put in charge of a College in Thi Ngha where he taught Christian Doctrine and the elements of Latin to young men preparing for studies at College General, Penang.

Fr Loc was a gentle person with a great devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

1858 Persecution forced him to close the school and he took refuge in the home of a Christian family.  However, he was betrayed by a servant and was arrested when he confessed that he was a priest.  With his knowledge for foreign languages, Fr Paul Loc was offered a high civilian post if he would renounce his faith.  He flatly refused and was sentenced to death.  The official sentence of strangulation was changed to beheading.
 
He was happy, joyful and willing to suffer for Christ. Buried in parish of Cho Quan.
 
 

 

Saint John HOAN

 
                                                                  Age
          Born           :  1798
          In Penang   :  1830-1836?                 (32)
          Ordained    :  1844                            (46)
          Beheaded   :  1861       (May 26)       (63)
          Beatified     :  1909
          Canonised  :  1988       (June 19)
 
 
 1798 John Hoan was born at Kim Long in Annamese Cochin China His parents were fervent Christians, weavers as well as farmers.  John's two brothers died for the faith in prison, while two nephews were priests and two nieces were nuns.

His journey to College General was arduous as he traveled through Siam and southward to Penang.

 After his studies he returned to Cochin China via Macao.

1844 Upon his return, Fr Hoan was ordained by Bishop Cuenot.

Fr Hoan was both pious and zealous and often joined the faithful in prayers of thanksgiving when mass was over.

He was sympathetic to the poor and the less fortunate.

His kindness and prudence earned him the love and devotion of his parishioners.

He visited scattered communities, heard confessions till late at night and celebrated mass early in the morning.

Fr Hoan recruited, encouraged and prepared many for the seminary.

1859 Saigon fell to the Franco-Spanish expeditionary forces. This intensified the persecution of Christians who were suspected of collusion with the enemy.

1861 Jan, Fr Hoan was arrested, imprisoned, beaten and tortured.  On hearing he was to be executed, he said: "Deo Gratias, thanks be to God, all is consummated".

Fr Hoan was beheaded in May but there is no knowledge of what became of his body.
 
 
 

 

Saint Peter Nguyen Van LUU

 
                                                          Age
          Born          :  1816
          In Penang  :  1842-1848(?)        (26)
          Ordained   :  1851                      (35)
          Beheaded  :  1861                      (45)
          Beatified    :  1909
          Canonised :  1988       (June 19)
 
 
 1816 Peter Luu was born to a Christian family in Ah Nhon, near Saigon.  He had an uncle who was a priest and died for the faith in 1845 at the age of 64.

1828 Peter lost his parents at an early age and was raised by his uncle, Fr Than.

1831 Peter was committed to Bishop Lefebvere and then to Mgr. Cuenot who sent him to College General in Penang. The voyage by sea was long and difficult.

Fr Luu was a small man but made up for this by his vigour, courage and firmness in decisions.

1853 While at Mac-bat, Fr Luu was denounced to the authorities by a Christian soldier who could not obtain a sufficient loan from Fr Luu.  Fr Luu escaped arrest as he was away visiting the community of Sa Dec but another priest, Fr Philip Minh who was sent to Mac-bat for safety, was     arrested instead and beheaded.

1859 Fr Luu was arrested as he was about to enter a prison to administer the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist to the prisoners.

When the judge asked him to deny his faith, to save himself, he replied: "If a simple Christian cannot do it, how much more a  Catholic priest!"

Fr Luu's courage, kindness and good humour held him in
       good stead in prison.
He visited the sick, exhorted the faithful to persevere to the end, distributed gifts and shared his food.

He also bought cane and reed to weave baskets which was sold or gave to the guards to assist those in need.

1861 As Fr Luu was being beheaded, he was praying  and reciting the rosary.

Two or three years later, Fr Lizi had the body of Fr Luu exhumed and buried in the church at Vinh Tuong.
 

 
 

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