Presenter Information

Anthony E. Clark Ph.D.


Francois-Regis Clet and Jean-Gabriel Perboyre were martyred in China in 1820 and 1840 respectively. They were later canonized. Their lives and deaths are recounted and the context of their persecution is provided. They were in violation of Chinese law when they arrived because Western missionaries and Christianity had already been forbidden. Anthony Clark explains why. He also briefly describes Vincentian efforts and influence in China from Jean-Gabriel’s death to today. Thanks to local Chinese in Wuchang, Clark found the saints’ execution site, which had been largely lost to history. He also confirmed the whereabouts of their commemorative gravestones. Red Guards in Beijing destroyed Saint Vincent’s Seminary in 1966, but Clark located the contents of its library. He produced a preliminary catalog of the Xikai Cathedral’s library in Tianjin even though scholars’ access to it has been severely restricted. The effects of the saints’ legacies are assessed.