Metrophanes, Chi Sung

Metrophanes, Chi Sung (Cháng Yángjí,常楊吉, his Chinese name is also sometimes translated as Tsi Chung) or Mitrophan (December 10, 1855 June 10, 1900) was the first Chinese Eastern Orthodox priest to be martyred. He was killed with his family members and church followers in 1900 during the Boxer Rebellion. He is the best known of some 222 Holy Chinese Martyrs glorified in August 2000 by the Eastern Orthodox Church. Metrophanes was stabbed in the chest by a crowd of rebels. Also considered martyrs are his wife Tatiana, whose Chinese name was Li, his sons, 23-year-old Isaiah and eight-year-old John, and Isaiah's nineteen-year-old fiancee Maria, who were all killed with him.

Metrophanes, Chi Sung and family
Holy Chinese Martyrs of the Eastern Orthodox Church
BornDecember 10, 1855
DiedJune 10, 1900
Venerated inEastern Orthodox Church
FeastJune 11

Metrophanes was raised by his mother, Marina, and grandmother, Ekaterina, after his father died when he was a child. He was a shy, unassuming man who was educated for the priesthood at a Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in China. Church authorities urged him to become a priest, but they persuaded him to do so with difficulty because he did not believe he had the talents necessary. "A man of poor talent and little virtue, how dare I accept this great rank?" he said. Metrophanes was ordained by Nikolai, Bishop of Japan in 1880. He helped with translation of liturgical books into Chinese from Russian and proofreading. Eventually he suffered a breakdown and settled outside the mission, receiving half of his salary. Many people took advantage of his goodwill or mocked him.