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July 9


Saint of the day:
Saint Augustine Zhao Rong

Saint Augustine Zhao Rong and Companions’ Story

Christianity arrived in China by way of Syria in the 600s. Depending on China’s relations with the outside world, Christianity over the centuries was free to grow or was forced to operate secretly.

The 120 martyrs in this group died between 1648 and 1930. Eighty-seven of them were born in China, and were children, parents, catechists, or laborers, ranging in age from nine years to 72. This group includes four Chinese diocesan priests. The 33 foreign-born martyrs were mostly priests or women religious, especially from the Order of Preachers, the Paris Foreign Mission Society, the Friars Minor, Society of Jesus, Society of St. Francis de Sales (Salesians), and Franciscan Missionaries of Mary.

Augustine Zhao Rong was a Chinese soldier who accompanied Bishop John Gabriel Taurin Dufresse of the Paris Foreign Mission Society to his martyrdom in Beijing. Not long after his baptism, Augustine was ordained as a diocesan priest. He was martyred in 1815.

Beatified in groups at various times, these 120 martyrs were canonized together in Rome on October 1, 2000.

St Augustine Zhao Rong.jpg





Memorial plaque

at Saint Francis Xavier Church (Ho Chi Minh City)




Szechuan Garlic Eggplant


  • 5 – slender eggplants (Italian or Asian)

  • 4 – garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 – green onions (white and green parts) sliced thinly

  • 1 Tablespoon – chile paste

  • 1 teaspoon – ginger, minced

  • 3 Tablespoons – vegetable oil

  • ½ cup – Vegetable or chicken stock

  • 3 Tablespoons – Soy sauce

  • 1 Tablespoon – Rice wine vinegar

  • 1 Tablespoon – Light brown sugar, packed (or 1 TB of Turbinado sugar)

  • 1 Tablespoon – Cornstarch

  • 1 tablespoon – Toasted sesame oil


  1. Cut the eggplants in half, lengthwise. Slice into strips about 1-inch wide.

  2. Heat a wok or large skillet to medium-high. Add vegetable oils, making sure bottom and sides of pan are coated.

  3. Add half of eggplant.

  4. Stir-fry until edges are slightly browned — about 2-3 minutes. Remove cooked eggplant and set aside. Repeat method with remaining eggplant.

  5. In same heated pan, add onions, garlic and ginger; stir-fry for about 30 seconds.

  6. Add chile paste; stir-fry for another 30 seconds.

  7. Add the stock.

  8. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, mix soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and cornstarch until the sugar and cornstarch are dissolved. Pour mixture into hot wok. Cook about one minute, stirring constantly, until sauce has thickened. Add eggplant and sesame oil. Cook, tossing for about a minute.


General Tso Chicken

An American Chinese favorite!


  • 1 pound chicken breasts cut into 1 inch pieces

  • 1-2 cups flour for dredging

  • oil for frying

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce

  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice unsweetened

  • 1/4 cup white vinegar

  • 2 cloves garlic crushed

  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger finely grated

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 3 tablespoons water

  • 4 green onions sliced



  1. Dredge chicken in flour and fry in oil over medium heat (in a wok or a skillet) until golden brown and crispy. Drain excess oil.   

  2. Sprinkle cayenne over the chicken and keep warm on low heat.

  3. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine sauce ingredients (sugar, soy sauce, pineapple juice, vinegar, garlic, and ginger) and heat gently.

  4. When sauce is smooth and sugar has dissolved, slowly add cornstarch slurry mixture and stir constantly until sauce has thickened to desired thickness.

  5. Pour sauce in the wok and stir to coat chicken. Stir in green onion and hot red pepper flakes (optional). Remove from heat and serve with white rice.

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