St. Martha Wang was arrested and beheaded by the Chinese government because she refused to deny her faith.
St Martha was born in 1812 in the town of Zunji and later lived with her husband in Qingyian, where they owned a small vegetable farm. Childless, they adopted two nephews.
After her husband died the two adopted sons left home and St Martha moved to the edge of town where she operated a small inn. When a Catholic from Yoajiaguan came to catechize the people of Qingyian, St Martha became intrigued by the message of Jesus and she became converted to the Catholic Faith on Christmas Day 1852.
Desiring a greater access to Mass and other Christians, St Martha moved to Guiyang where she worked as a cook in a Catholic hostel for young women. When Bishop Hu opened a seminary for the training of priests at Yaojiaguan, he hired St Martha as a cook and cleaning lady.
When some soldiers, who were very anti-religious, arrived at the seminary in 1861, they took away three seminarians and arrested them for being Christians. These seminarians were sentenced to death and on 29th July St Martha decided to walk with the condemned seminarians to the place of execution.
Because she continued to offer support to the seminarians, despite threats from the soldiers, St Martha was arrested too. Along the way ‘all four showed on their faces the peace and joy that rose from courage to die for their Catholic Faith, as they prayed up to the last minute before entering the glory of martyrdom’. All four, including St Martha, were decapitated.