Bishop Joseph Zhou Ji-shi, C.M.

 

Bishop Joseph Zhou Ji-shi, C.M. (周济世主教) was born in Guangyang village, Gaocheng District, Zhengding County, Zhili Province(直隶省正定府藁城县的广扬村), On January 23th 1892. In 1931, He was appointed by Pope Pius XI as the first native bishop in Diocese of Baoding (天主教保定教区/Dioecesis Paotimensis). In 1946, Zhou was further promoted to become one of the three Chinese Metropolitan Archbishop (the other two are Paul Yu Pin and Thomas Tien Ken-sin).

In 1949, the new communist regime started to persecute Catholic faith and deport foreign Catholic clergy from China. Both Yu and Tien exiled to the US but Zhou chose to stay, which made him the highest-ranking Catholic clergy in mainland China.  For refusing to participate in the government-controlled Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, Zhou was arrested in the 1950s and died in a prison in Nanchang, at the age of 80.

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