ABOUT SAINT MARY GUO LI, WIDOW AND MARTYR (1835-1900)
Mary Guo Li, a native of Hu-jia-che, China (Hebei Province), was a Catholic wife and grandmother, with numerous children and grandchildren, all of whom were raised in the Catholic faith.
In 1900 a Chinese quasi-religious faction known to history as the “Boxers” embarked upon a bloody persecution of Christians in China.
Mary instructed her children and grandchildren that under no circumstances were they to deny their faith, warning two of her sons, “Remember that if you apostatise, I shall no longer be your mother!”
On 29th June 1900, the Boxers raided the family’s home, murdered Mary’s husband Guo Zhinfang, and torched the house.
Sensing that she would soon share her husband’s fate, Mary spent the days that followed preparing herself with the recitation of the rosary, fasting, and spiritual reading.
On 7th July the sixty-five-year-old grandmother was put to death by the Boxers together with three of her daughters and four of her grandchildren. Before being executed, Mary offered a final word of encouragement to her family, telling them, “Don’t cry. We are going to heaven to enjoy eternal life.”
“They are happy whose life is blameless, who follow God’s law.” (Ps 118:1)