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St. Gabriel Taurin Dufresse

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Feastday: September 14
Birth: 1750
Death: 1815

Gabriel Taurin Dufresse, of Lezoux, France, was ordained a priest of the Society for Foreign Missions of Paris at the age of twenty-four. In 1776 he arrived in China to undertake his missionary labors in the country's Szechwan Province. The renewed persecution of Chinese Christians in 1784 led to Father Dufresse's arrest. He soon escaped from prison and was taken in by a Chinese Catholic family. He subsequently surrendered himself to the pagan authorities after an auxiliary bishop instructed all the priests staying with families to turn themselves in rather than expose their hosts to the danger of arrest. Father Dufresse was imprisoned and then exiled to Macao. In 1789 he managed to return to Szechwan Province. In the years that followed, his missionary labors were blessed with increasing success. In 1800 he was consecrated an auxiliary bishop. The resumption of intense anti-Christian persecution in 1805 put Bishop Dufresse in so much danger that he had to change his place of residence almost daily. In May of 1815, he was re-captured, and suffered beheading on September 14, 1815.


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