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Irll May -AIjS^s^ -1900 


Mat-Tf^i- A Company, UririTt^d 
PUbTTshei-S, Boston, U.S.*\. 


MAY-AUGUST, i 900 



Assistant General Director of the Association for 
THE Propagation of the Faith 





Cln )50.fD 



Archibp. Bostonxbnsis 

Copyright, 1901 
By Rbv. Jos. Frbri 



MAY- AUGUST, 1900. 


The Chinese Missions. 

By Tray of introduction to the following pages, it 
may not be out of place to present a few general 
statistics of the Catholic Chinese Missions. 

There are at presenfc some ten Catholic Missionary 
societies engaged in the propagation of the faith in 
China. Among these may be mentioned the Society 
of the Foreign Missions of Paris, the Franciscans, 
the Dominicans, the Jesuits, the Lazarists, the So- 
ciety of the Foreign Missions of Milan, the Society 
of Mary Immaculate, the Little Brothers of Mary, 
the Sisters of Charity, etc. A few years ago the 
Trappists founded a monastery near .Pekin, where 
their laborious and pure lives are in striking con- 
trast with the laziness and dissolute conduct of the 


The total number of Vicariates is 40 ; ther^ are 40 
bishops, about 800 European missionaries, 500 native 
priests ; and the number of native Catholics through- 
out the whole of China proper is estimated at 

The Vicariate of Pekin, the mission of special inter- 
est to us, dates back to 1288, when it was intrusted 
to the sons of St. Francis. About 1682 it was taken 
charge of by the Fathers of the Society of Jesus, 
when the renowned Father Matteo Ricci and his com- 
panions made Pekin their headquarters. In 1784, 
on the suppression of the Society of Jesus, Pope 
Clement XIV. at the request of Louis XVI. of France 
confided the Vicariate to the Fathers of the Congre- 
gation of the Mission, more popularly known as the 
Lazarists or Vincentians. They have continued to 
serve the Vicariate ever since. 

According to the last report issued by Bishop 
Favier, CM., Vicar Apostolip of Pekin, at the end 
of 1899 there were 31 churches, 577 stations, 
46,900 Catholics, 2,322 baptisms of adults during the 
year, and 6,506 catechumens. The missionary staff 
comprised about 28 European missionaries and 30 
native priests ; a Trappist monastery with 6 priests, 
• 18 choir religious, and 33 brothers ; a community of 
Marist brothers, with 18 members, and also commum- 
ties of Sisters of Charity and Sisters of St. Joseph. 

In the London " Tablet '' of Aug. 11, 1900, appeared 
a graphic description of the mission of Pekin, from 
which the following is taken : 


" M. Marcel Monnier, in his delightful book *Le 
Tour d'Asie, L'Empire du Milieu/ writes as follows 
of the Lazarist missions at Pekin ; — 

"'At the missions the welcome was indeed a cordial 
one. The road thither is easily found. Hours pass 
swiftly by in conversing with the men who for so 
many years have passed their whole lives in the midst 
of these strange Chinese races ; men who have adopted 
their language, their habits and customs, who have 
studied their literature, their art and their annals, 


and who possess the gift, so rai*e and scarce, of evok- 
ing in their conversation, by a few ornate and vividly 
descriptive touches, men and matters of the present 
and the past ; men with minds alert, not given, how- 
ever, to the fostering of illusions, convinced that 
they are laboring on ungrateful soil ; still tenacious, 
possessed of a joyous ardor, wholly happy in the 
enormous difficulties of their self-imposed tasks. 

" ' It would be a mistake to look upon these mis- 
sions simply from the one point of view of religious 
propagandism. Their activity. is manifest in many 
different ways. Their missions in Pekin are far 
removed one from the other, situate at the four cardi- 
nal points, as their names indicate : Pei-tang, Nan- 
tang, Ton-t^,ng, and Si-tang, — ^the Church of the 
North, of the South, of the East, of the West. Around 
these churches are grouped not only the residences 
of the Fathers, the seminaries and the novitiates, but 
also the schools, the workshops, where the young 
people are taught wood and metal work. Then there 


is the printing-office^ where the young native com- 
positors are equally skilled in the setting ap of the 
Chinese and Latin characters. 

The Hospital and Dispensabt. 

"'Near the Chnrch of the East, Ton-tang, is the 
hospital where the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent 
de Paul, assisted by the medical staff of the French 
Legation, are ever assiduous in their care aud nursing 
of the most repulsively afflicted patients. This suf- 
fering class of humanity exhibit afflictions, sores, and 
complaints and suchlike pathological phenomena sel- 
dom to be met with in European clinical institutions. 
This institution is the only one of its kind in all 
Pekin. Needless to say it is ever crowded. On 
certain days there are to be seen hundreds of stricken 
patients awaiting the arrival of the doctor. Those 
who are unable to find room in the hospital make 
their way to the dispensary. There their ailments 
are seen to, wounds washed, and a large bowl of rice 
given to each. In the neighborhood of this mission — 
the most ancient Catholic settlement extant in Pekin, 
one founded by the Portuguese Jesuits over two 
hundred years ago — there is a never-ceasing influx 
and exodus of spectral figures, disease-stricken and 
fever-marked sufferers. 

" < The headquarters of the mission is the Pei-tang, 
— Church of the North. It is situated in the yellow 
quarter of the city, close to the Imperial Palace. 
There are two small pavilions flanking the entrance 


surmounted by a dragon; affixed to the wall are 
marble slabs on which are inscribed the Imperial 
Ordinances, setting forth the terms upon which the 
concession of the land was made to France some one 
hundred . years ago. But a few years back the Em- 
peror, wishing to enlarge the grounds of his palace, 
took the site previously held by the Fathers, and gave 
them the present site in exchange, and built the 
present cathedral, episcopal residence, and all the 
many dependencies at his own expense, — a cost esti- 
mated at over $150,000. A huge tablet suspended 
over the facade of the Cathedral records this f acti 
Pei-tang is the residence of the Vicar-Apostolic, a 
man whose name is widely known, who is much be- 
loved by all those whose privilege it has been to 
know and meet him, Bishop C. M. Favier. 

The School op the Mabist Brothers. 

" 'A mile or so outside the walls, near to the old 
French cemetery, in the village of Cha-la-eul, is the 
wonderful school established and directed by the 
Marist Brothers. There are about one hundred native 
students attending the classes. This institution 
enjoys a deservedly high reputation. Many of the 
youngsters who have made their studies in this 
school are now holding good posts in the Civil Ser- 
vice and Custom House offices. One of the recent 
members of the Chinese Embassy at Paris, the Min- 
ister Tsing, was a student of Cha-la-eiil.^ " 





During the early part of the year, Bishop Favier 
had gone to Europe in the interest of his mission. 
Hearing that signs of the approaching storm had l)een 
seen, he returned at once, and on May 18, 1900, 
wrote from Pekin the following letter ^ : — 

Pekin, May 18th, 1900. 

My stay in Europe was very short indeed; but no 
amount of kindness could have kept me away from 
my vicariate longer, and I am thankful now that I 
have returned. I felt, by intuition, that grave events 
were, about to happen and that a storm was brewing. 
In case of a cyclone, a commander must be at his 
post, even if it means to be tied to the mast. 

To understand the insurrectional and anti-Christian 
movement that has gained ground so rapidly, we 
must investigate the causes. Permit me a few prelim- 
inary explanations. 

Seeing that the emperor, Kuang Hsu, could have no 
heir, and that, moreover, he was plotting to deprive 

^ From the ** Annals of the Propagation of the Faith/' 'September, 
October, 1900. 


her of the regency, the Empress nominated a new 
emperor, or rather an heir presumptive. This future 
sovereign of China, twelve to fourteen yeaxs of age, 
is a grandson of Prince Tuan, the fifth brother of 
Emperor Shien Fong, who died in 1860. 

The son of the Prince Tuan mentioned, who has 
the same name and is ^he father of the new emperor, 
is filled with hatred against Europeans and their 
religion. His animosity is easily accounted for. 
Prince Kong, the sixth prince who has assumed the 
regency since 1860, and his younger brother, the 
seventh prince who succeeded him as father of 
the Emperor, Kuang Hsu, were both younger brothers 
of Prince Tuan, who by right should have governed 
since 1860. Besides, when there was question of 
choosing a successor to the Emperor, Tung-Che, who 
died without issue, the son of the seventh prince 
instead of the son of Prince Tuan was unlawfully 
selected. These two acts of injustice so incensed the 
latter that he retired to Moukden with his family. 
The. choice of the new heir presumptive has given 
Prince Tuan great influence with the Empress. He 
has returned with his old hatred against Europeans, 
treaties, and all that has happened since 1860 ; and, 
besides, in complete ignorance of European affairs, 
the progress accomplished and concessions granted. 
In fact, he is still imbued with all the old ideas of 
forty years ago. The old party and all persons of 
note who have preserved the feeling of hatred against 
Europe and the Christian religion have rallied around 


Prince Tuan. The result is two decided parties: 
that of the prince, and that of the princes and man- 
darins who have been in power since 1860; these 
have accepted progress, and issued the protective laws 
and decrees for religion, culminating in that of March 
16, 1899, which the Empress herself brought about 
and signed, and which has not been revoked, though 
the old partjr has since come into power. 

Numerous sects imder the names of Boxers^ Large 
Knives, etc., whose insurrection originated in Shan- 
tung, have for the past seven or eight months spread 
throughout Chi-li, directing their movements toward 

The Boxers are* a truly diabolical sect ; invocations, 
incantations, obsession, and even possession, are com- 
mon imong them. Savants may attribute their ex- 
traordinary doings to magnetism or hypnotism, or 
may look upon them as victims of hysteria and fanat- 
icism ; but to us they seem to be even more directly 
instruments of the devil. 

The hatred of the name Christian drives them to 
the greatest excesses. Established, as they aife, in 
every village, they unite on a day specified to attack 
any one Christian settlement. On Saturday, May 
12, they burned the village of Kao-lo, and massacred 
more than 70 persons; several other villages were 
burned immediately afterwards. The Christians took 
flight, leaving all their worldly possessions behind 
them. The city of Pekin itself is not safe. Boxers 
are there in great numbers, and everywhere placards 


are posted announcing the burning of cliurclies and 
the destruction of Europeans. The movement seems 
to be approved by those high in authority, and con- 
verges from all quarters toward Pekin. The stand- 
ards of the rebels bear such inscriptions as : " Protect 
the dynasty and destroy Europeans ; " By " order of 
the Emperor, let us destroy all Europeans." Danger, 
therefore, is imminent. 

We have taken all the precautions dictated by 
prudence. I have written letters to all the upper 
mandarins. At my request, troops have been sent to 
a number of Christian settlements ; but they are 
nearly all inadequate and some are ill-disposed. 
Nevertheless) I believe there would be greater evil 
done without them. 

In our pressing necessity, I have ordered public 
prayers for peace, which God alone can granjb. Be- 
sides, I have written an official letter to the foreign 
minister, who has convoked the diplomatic corps. It 
has been unanimously decided to force the Chinese 
government to prompt action under the penalty of 
calling in foreign troops. Despite the danger, all are 
ready at their posts. The conduct of the Christians 
is admirable ; apostasy is proposed to them, but they 
prefer flight, ruin, even death. Several catechumens 
have received the baptism of blood. 

Ma^ 28th, This letter, commenced. ten days since, 
has been interrupted by ten days of Sorrow. Every 
hour brings fresh news of misfortune.^ The massacre 
in Kao-lo was horrible ; the victims numbered more 


than eighty. Small children were quartered, women 
were burned in church or run through with a sword, 
men were stabbed or shot ; it is rumored that some 
were crucified. Twenty persons escaped because they 
were absent at the time of the massacre. A young 
man, eighteen years of age, was thrown into a well 
where he remained forty-eight hours ; when . the 
assassins left, he made his escape and has just arrived 
among us. In another village, two Christians were 
cut into pieces. In a third, several were massacred. 
Thirty villages at least have been abandoned by the 
Christians; six have been burned to the ground, 
together with their churches. The poor Chinese, who 
are pursued, take refuge in the mountains or in the 
largest cities. We are giving shelter to more than 
2,000. The last few days, in particular, have been a 
terriWe experience. 

The Boxers united in arms. May 26, to attack 
Cha-la, at the very gates of Pekin. Only a miracle 
saved the place that night. We had, fortunately, 
taken the precaution of bringing the Sisters of Char- 
ity into the city. The next day, the terrible and, 
unfortunately, true news, was , circulated that the 
Boxers, with unheard-of audacity, had burned the 
Hankau-Pekin railroad for about ninety-five miles, 
as far as the terminus station, near the capital. All 
was destroyed, — material, stations, stores ; we do not 
yet know whether all the foreigners along the road 
were saved or not. 

The same eveiiing our large establishment of 


Pei-tang was to have been burned. The announcement 
had been proclaimed and posted for several days, 
and I consider our escape miraculous. The different 
foreign ministers have met in consultation, and have 
decided to call in special detachments. If they do 
not arrive within eight days, the fault will surely not 
be theirs. 

Chinese troops have taken possession of the rail- 
way, and have reestablished communication with 
Tientsin, interrupted for forty-eight hours. 

A most insufficient imperial decree was published 
this morning, but that protects neither religious 
establishments nor the Legations in Pekin from a 
coup de main. The Christian settlements in the 
province are in the greatest dknger. Every minute 
may bring us the news of a fresh catastrophe. We 
must hope, nevertheless ; we are in the hands of God, 
and not a hair of our heads shall fall without His 

Such is our position to-day, May 30. I hope that 
I shall be able to write better news in a few days. 
But the revolution against foreigners and the perse- 
cution against Christians seem so well organized that 
we may expect anything. Perhaps our prayers and 
those of* our poor Christians will appease the anger 
of God. 



After the Clouds had Broken. 

From the date inentioned (May 30), with tne ex- 
ception of one brief dispatch, telling of the brutal 
murders of some religious, no vord was received from 
Catholic sources at Pekin, until the following Sep- 
tember. Then, when regular communication with 
Europe was once again established, among the most 
important and interesting documents received was 
the journal of the Right Reverend A. Favier, CM., 
Vicar Apostolic of Pekin, with its accompanying 

Tientsin, Septernher, 1900. 

The conduct of our Christians has been admirable ; 
all devoted themselves to most fervent prayer with- 
out fearing for their lives. The couriers sent to the 
Legations were in danger of death ; several never re- 
turned. On the 10th of August, one of them again 
sacrificed himself to inform the minister of our 
being in the last extremity of need. Poor young 
man I he was flayed, and the Boxers exposed his 
skin and head within a few yards of our own walls. 

It was a sad sight to behold Christian women 


depriving themselves of their own meager allowance 
of food to nourish their infants ; for a long time they 
had had no breast-milk; with small pieces of tin 
that served as spoons, thejr introduced the weak 
gruel into the mouths of their poor children. Our 
number was increased during these two months by 
thirty new born babes. 

One morning, before Holy Mass, one of these brave 
Christian women, who had been confined during the 
night, threw herself at my feet, with the words, — 

" Bishop, Bishop, let me have some millet, that I 
may have a little milk." 

I was .obliged to refuse her with tears in my eyes ; 
there was nothing more to give. 

We were obliged to cook the leaves of trees, ancl 
roots of dahlias and cannais, stems and the bulbs of 
lilies; these, stewed together, increased the small 
pittance of food allowed to each. 

At night all occupied the one place, trying to pro- 
tect themselves against bullets, and, especially, mines. 
Two or three hundred children were crying for hun- 
ger; the intense heat kept me from sleeping, and I 
felt as though I were listening to the bleating of a 
flock of little lambs destined for sacrifice. These 
cries, however, grew weaker day by day, for we 
buried one hundred and seventy of these innocents. 

Misery, hunger, sickness, and bullets have more 
than decimated the Christian population ; the number 
of dead buried in our garden exceeds four hundred. 
All died good Christians, saying, "We die for our 


religion, killed out of hatred for the faith ; the good 
God will give us Paradise." 

Our Sisters of Charity have behaved admirably; 
more tried than we ourselves were, perhaps, they 
deprived themselves of everything for their children. 
Excepting one or two whose nervous debility excused 
their apprehensions, all manifested truly manly cour- 
age. The frightful shock of the last mine was the 
final blow to the venerable superioress. Sister Jaurias, 
who was seventy-eight years of age, and sick ; she 
died a happy death, for God did not call her until 
after the deliverance. 

How shall I speak of the missionaries ? My 
coadjutor was everywhere, watched over everything, 
encouraging, consoling, and supporting everyone, 
crossing the most dangerous places constantly with- 
out heeding shot or ball. The director of the semi- 
nary with his yoimg men watched night and day on 
the roof of the church, on the barricades, and in the 
trenches. The seminarians with one of our young 
colleagues still not in Oi-ders promptly filled the 
places of our dead or wounded soldiers, and used 
their guns like trained men ; several were struck by 
balls, but, thanks be to God ! none was killed. 

Our procurator continued to fulfill his duties with 
astonishing calmness, attending to everything, and 
though in delicate health, suffered privations with 
uncommon fortitude. Our native missionaries multi- 
plied themselves to establish a little order in the 
house ; they directed the workers, watched over the 


distribution of food, preserved peace, and administered 
the last consolations to the dying. Only myself did 
nothing worthy of mention. In constant retirement 
in my room, I prayed to God, to the Blessed Virgin, 
to the holy angels, and to all our patron saints. I 
tried to preserve in myself, and to impart to others, 
the spirit of resignation, patience, and calm so neces- 
sary in times like these. 

I do not think that I exaggerate in estimating the 
number of victims in the Vicariate of Pekin alone 
to be 20,000 at least; 20,000 victims, dead, burned, 
cut to pieces, or thrown into the rivers, without 
making the slightest idolatrous prostration that 
would havcispared their lives. I do not believe that 
two out of a hundred have saved themselves by a 
single superstitious act where the heaii; was not 
involved. Not one of our missionaries left his post, 
though the mandarins offered to conduct them under 
escort to a place of safety ; not one forsook his 
Christians. At the present hour, notwithstanding 
the arrival of troops, more than twenty-five are be- 
sieged in their residences. May God protect them ! 

In Pekin, three churches, seven large chapels, the 
colleges, hospitals, and establishments of the Sisters 
of St. Joseph (native) — all are destroyed. The 
cemeteries in which missionaries have been buried, 
from Matthew Ricci to Bishop Sarthon (three cen- 
turies), have been robbed, monuments overthrown, 
bones, yea, even the coffins, reduced to ashes and cast 
to the winds. The Pei-tang (northern cathedral), 


damaged by shells^ is the only building iindestrojed. 
Fathers Addosio, GkirrigueSy Dor^^ and Chavanne 
were killed in Fekin^ and several Chinese priests 
in the mission likewise lost their lives. 

The Vicariate possessed one hundred and seventy- 
seven Christian settlements^ of which nearly all had 
their chapels; hardly one-fourth have been spared: 
the houses of Christians have been pillaged and 
burned. I know but one in Pekin that has been left 

In short, the ruin is almost entire^ the work of 
forty years is nearly annihilated ; the courage of mis- 
sionaries^ nevertheless^ is not on the wane ; we shall 
begin over again , assured of success in the end^ for 
^Hhe blood of martyrs is the seed of Christians;" 
unless Ood design to punish unhappy China^ that has 
abused His grace for centuries. Let us hope that He 
will grant pardon, so many persons, even among the 
mandarins, are innocent of the atrocities committed. 
We love, and will ever love, our poor people of China ; 
pray for them and for us. " Oratias agamos Domino 
Deo nostro I " 


Through the Valley op the Shadow of Death, 
Day by Day. May-Juke. 

The last news which I was able to foi*ward from 
Pekin was dated May 30. Permit me to give you 
a short account of the terrible siege which we have 
sustained in the Pei-tang lintil the day of deliverance 
granted by God. 

Wednesday/, May SOth. — To-day we received proof 
that the Boxers are assisted by the Chinese govern- 
ment and regular tx*oops. These last themselves 
set fire to the railway buildings. The Tsung-li-ya- 
min tried to delay troops ; but the foreign ministers 
held out, replying that they would come on foot if 
the railroad were not left open to them. From nine 
till eleven o'clock in the evening, several small red 
balloons, sent off by the Boxers, floated over the 
city ; they were signals for assembling ; the Chinese 
soldiers had possessed themselves of a supply of car- 

Thursday, May 31st — My vicar-general. Father 
Guilloux, whom I called to Pekin, left for Tientsin 



with Fadier C^j. Wm ther he Me to leadi tiieir 
dessxnatian ? We aje sme of lindiing ; tbcj saj the 
route is intercepfted hy soIdienL A tekgnm from 
Father DanKmt was receiTed at ten oVlock; sercn 
other Giristian Tillages burned ! At half-pist twelxe 
I receired a letter frcHn the French minister; himself 
saA the Bassian Tfiinister were called upon to exert 
an unusual d^ree of energy in order that the French 
and Bnssian marines who landed in Taku the erening 
before might reach Pekin by rail At half-past three 
a mandarin from our friends came to see ns ; he told 
OS that the Empress could not resist the anti-Enro- 
pean movement. The good mandarins have been dis- 
charged from office, or have resigned. SeTenty-five 
French, 75 Bussians, 75 Engli^ 40 Italians, 22 
Japanese, and 60 Americans left Tientsin for Pekin 
at half -past three; they are expected this eyening. 

Friday J June 1st. — Befugees from all quarters are 
arriying ; our missions of Pa-tchoo are nearly totally 
destroyed. The brave Father Lon Gr^oire was the 
last to remain in his residence, and escaped from the 
Boxers by flight. Sisters of St Joseph, Children of 
the Holy Childhood, have been massacred. The 
French minister came to see us at half-past nine 
o'clock, and told us of the coming of thirty marines, 
who, in fact, arrived at the Pei-tang at ten o'clock, 
accompanied by nearly all the French in Pekin. 
The Tsung-li-yamen had specified that the troops 
were destined to guard only the legations ! But M. 
Pichon himself brought us nearly the half of his 


detachment ; may lie be assured of our lasti^ig grati- 
tude ! At midnight Father Guilloux telegraphed to 
us that refugees from Partchoo were arriving in large 
niunbers in Tientsin, and that the river was filled 
with floating bodies of massacred Christians. 

Saturday, June 2d, — We are placing posts every- 
where ; the ensign of the vessel, Mr. Paul Henry, a 
young man twenty-three years old, who is in com- 
mand of the marines, is as pious as he is brave — a 
true Breton. The news from Tientsin is bad: the 
grants themselves are exposed. The engineers have 
left the city of Pao-ting-fou, and the mandarins 
would like to get our European colleagues to leave 
likewise. They are refusing, declaring that they 
must remain among their Christians until the end. 
May God protect them! 

Sunday, Pentecost, June Sd, — The Sovereign Pon- 
tiff having delegated me to present a letter and a gift 
to the Empress in his name, I proceeded to fulfill this 
mission of confidence. His majesty not being in the 
city, he appointed Prince Ts'ing to receive me in his 
name ; which event took place to-day, at two o'clock, 
in his own palace. This prince was sui-rounded by 
high mandarins. Letter and presents were delivered 
with full imperial ceremonial, and were accepted with 
the greatest marks of respect and appreciation. I 
had, besides, drawn up a petition for the Empress, in 
which I explained the actual position. I asked pro- 
tection for our Christians, and the punishment of 
the Boxers. The prince consented to take charge of 



it, and I know that the next day it was delivered to 
His Majesty. 

Monday, June Jfth, — The Pei-tang, examined by 
our commander, seemed impossible to defend with 
thirty men. There are, in fact, nearly foni-teen hun- 
dred yards of wall ! It has been decided that in case 
of too violent an attack, all are to unite in the church, 
and the plan of defense is being prepared. We are, 
besides 70 Europeans, including Sisters and Brothers, 
about 1,000 male Chinese and nearly 2,200 women and 
children. At one o'clock we received a visit from 
several gentlemen of the Legation who told us that 
the fifteen soldiers already sent to Nan-tan were 
obliged to be withdrawn as given up to certain death 
by the impossibility of an efficacious defense. In 
case of attack, what is to become of . our colleagues, 
the Sisters of Charity, the Sisters of St. Joseph, the 
Marist Brothers, and so many Christians who live in 
this parish ? To God's protection ! In the evening, 
at six o'clock, twenty Christians were armed as 
guards : the danger increases. 

Tuesday, June 6th, — I telegraphed since morning 
to the superior-general *^ in Fekin and in Tientsin 
peril is extreme for alU' A dispatch from Father 
Guilloux informs us of many fires and as many more 
massacres of Christians. Here, everybody is working 
on barricades, lances are being made, and the supply 
of provisions is being increased. At six o'clock in 
the evening, the Italian minister sent ten of his 
marines to defend the establishment of the Sisters, 


who belong to the Holy Childhood, with whom axe 
several Italian Sisters. At half-past seven the gov- 
ernor of the city came to me and told me, — 

^* You have nothing to fear : the Boxers will not 
dare to attack the Pei-tang." 

This great mandarin is perhaps sincere, but, for my 
part, I believe his assertion to be absolutely false. 

Wednesday, June 6th, — We are multiplying the 
means of defense. We have learned that the Em- 
press has sent two members of the Grand Council to 
arrest the Boxers bt/ persuasion / It is altogether 

Thursday, June 7th, — We are constructing a small 
turret to protect the eastern wall of our residence. 
I am going to the Legations, where they still hope ; for 
a new imperial decree, better than those preceding, 
has just been issued. For myself I cherish no hope, 
and do not fail to repeat that an attack is imminent. 
At eight o'clock the Marist Brothers of Cha-La came 
back to the Pei-tang. 

Friday, June 8th. — Villages are burning on all 
sides, fires are multiplying during the night; the 
firing of guns is heard everywhere, and we are obliged 
to watch till morning. 

Saturday, June 9th, — Some Boxers have been 
seen in the k^ou, (The k^ou is the northern part of 
the large park, the southern part of which was 
given to us by the Emperor to construct our Cathe- 
dral.) I am going to the Legations again, where all 
optimism has not died out. The Empress has re- 


turned to the city with the coui-t, and issued a very 
strong new decree. The governor has himself written 
to me that he has received a special order to protect 
the churches of Pekin; I have but little confidence 
in his words ; they will be overridden. 

Sunday, June 10th, — I shall telegraph to Paris 
again, because I am afraid that in a short time I 
shall be unable to do so; then I am going to the 
Legations, where there is great uneasiness, because of 
the revolt of the soldiers of General Toun-Fou-Sian. 
Fresh troops left Tientsin this morning under thie 
command of Admiral Seymour ; we hope to see them 
arrive here to-morrow. . . . But the Boxers have all 
left the city ; the regular soldiers are on the walls 
with ai-tillery. At eight o'clock the telegraph wires 
were cut between Tientsin and Pekin, as well as 
between Pekin and Pao-ting-fou. These facts are 
bad signs ; I shall be very much surprised if the 
reliefs can arrive. 

Monday, June 11th, — From the top of our church 
we see the summer residences of Europeans, on the 
western hills, in flames. At a quarter before ten 
many Boxers with their standards passed along the 
wall of the Yellow City ; serious alarm ; everybody is 
at his post. Nevertheless, I left for the Legations ; 
confidence is felt there ; detachments from Admiral 
Seymour and numerous troops are expected, because 
the admirals have received orders to send all they 
have as soon as the telegraph wires are cut, and that 
has been done. I share little of this hope. Prince 


Tuan, grand chief of the Boxers, and high mandarins, 
their friends, have just been named members of the 
Tsung-li-yamen. At five o'clock in the evening the 
chancellor of the Japanese Legation, going before 
the expected troops, was massacred near the southern 
gate by the soldiers of Toun-fou-sian. They have 
united with the Boxers, and are trying to keep all 
Europeans from entering or leaving Pekin. 

Tuesday^ June 12th, — The Boxers have set fire to 
the stacks of straw next to the house of the Sisters of 
Cha-La. At seven o'clock in the evening fresh alarm 
made us take up arms, but our fears were without 
ground. A haK-hour later Mr. Pichon wrote to us 
that the new members of the Yamen had come to 
see him, that they had been very kind, and that 
Admiral Seymour would enter the city without diffi- 
culty. God grant that the words of the mandarins 
may be sincere, but ... we cannot believe them. 

Wednesday, June ISth, — General Toun-fou-sian is 
in open revolt, the Christians of Pekin are leaving 
their homes. Three of them have been massacred in 
the Chinese city by the Boxers. We have learned 
through the Legations that Admiral Seymour with 
his troops slept in Lang-fou yesterday ; this village 
is about forty miles from here; the railroad has 
been burned; we can hardly dare hope that the troops 
can arrive now. At midday we learned that the 
French cemetery was burned and completely de- 
stroyed. - The watchman, his wife, and children have 
been massacred. Bad night ; fires and cries of death. 


to some extent, everywhere ; women are taking refuge 
in the church. At haK-past nine o'clock we saw our 
beautiful church of St. Joseph in Tong-tan in flames. 
Toward ten o'clock ominous noises. The Boxers are 
heard giving the word of command to the west of 
our establishment. At eleven o'clock two Christians 
confirmed the burning of this Church. We watched 
until morning, because the trumpets of the Boxers 
sounded on all sides. 

Thursday^ June IJffth, Feast of Corpiis Christi. — 
At eight o'clock in the morning we saw from the top 
of the church the constant blaze of Tung-t'ang and 
several other fires. We can no longer hold communi- 
cation with any one ; the gates of the Yellow City are 
closed, guarded by the troops of Prince Tuan. At 
half-past eleven o'clock the old cathedral of the 
Immaculate Conception in Nan-tan, the residence, the 
college, the hospital, the orphanage, all took fire; 
it is a horrible sight ! 

Toward midnight much firing of cannon and guns 
to the south ; will Lord Seymour arrive ? . . . Cries 
of death from Boxers all around us. Cha, Cha, 
kill I kill ! ! ! Chao, Chao, bum ! bum ! ! ! Till two 
o'clock in the morning everybody was up and about ; 
then the cries grew fainter, and the Boxers seemed to 
be retreating. 

Friday, June 15th. — All the Sisters expected 
death, and received Holy Communion ; children and 
women have taken refuge in the cathedral. At eight 
o'clock we learned from an escaped Christian that 


the missionaxies; Brothers^ Sisters, and children of 
St. Joseph, in !N'an-tan, are safe in the Legations. A 
detachment of volunteers, as courageous as devoted, 
went to save them at one o'clock in the morning. At 
half -past eleven we saw the Tower of Our Lady of 
the Seven Dolors in Si-t'ang, the bricks of which are 
reddened by fire. All is surely burned. A courier, 
sent by us to the Legation, came back at three o'clock, 
bringing a letter from Mr. Pichon, and one from 
Father Addosio, pastor in Nan-tan: "!No news of 
the detachments ; fight with the Boxers. Father 
Garrigues, pastor in Tung-t'ang, is sui-ely murdered. 
Many Christians taken refuge in the palace of Prince 
Sou, to the north of the Legations." 

At six o'clock we learned that Father Dor^, pastor 
in Si-t'ang, had been murdered. At seven o'clock 
our establishments were surrounded on the south, 
east, and west by a large crowd of Boxers. A half- 
hour later, their horrible cries were heard ; we were 
surely going to be attacked. The Sisters and all 
their children came to the cathedral, where there 
were already eighteen hundred women and babies, 
maddened by fear. They were just in time. The 
Boxers arrived by the south at a quarter to eight. 
Their leader, on horse, is a lama or a bonze ; he pre- 
cedes an immense red flag, surrounded by young 
Boxers who have undergone the incantations and are 
likewise dressed in red. They burned perfumed 
sticks, prostrated themselves on entering our street 
on the south, and then advanced in compact band^. 


The marines of our great gate let them approach 
within two hundred yards, then sent a volley into 
their ranks, which laid forty-seven of these so-called 
" invulnerables " low, and put the thousands of 
Boxers, who followed, to flight. We went out at 
once and captured five swords and one lance. The 
Boxers, driven back, at once set fire to the houses 
which adjoin ours on the south. We have been pre- 
served by God, who changed the direction of the 
wind in our favor ; moreover, wet covering, pumps, 
nothing had been forgotten to assist Providence. 

Made furious by their failure, vntnessed by a 
crowd of ten thousand persons ready to plunder, the 
Boxers redoubled their noise and ferocious yells until 
after midnight, but did not dare to attack anew. 

This first serious encounter has given us hope 
in manifesting the cowardice of our enemies. The 
Christians, whom we had armed with about five hun- 
dred lances, had, besides, seven or eight poor guns ; 
made courageous by this first success, they promised 
to keep watch vnth the marines on the fourteen hun- 
dred yards of wall. 

Saturday, June 16th, — Through a fugitive, we 
learned the admirable constancy of many Christians 
massacred without the gate T'ing-tze-men, of whom 
not one would deny his faith ; that is very consoling 
At half-past twelve serious alarm ; cries of Boxers ; 
arrival of regular soldiers, who guard the gate of 
Si-Hoa; they are evidently not to defend, but to 
attack us. Our purveyor refuses to sell anything j 


he is threatened with death if he gives us the least 
supply. Towards half-past four an immense fire be- 
gins to rage in Tsien-Men ; the Boxers, after having 
burned all the houses of Christians, are now burning 
the stores where a few European articles are sold. 
A courier sent to the Legation, came back at five 
o'clock. Always no news from Admiral Seymour, 
At half-seven every-one is at his post. More than 
three hundred soldiers, and numerous Boxers, have 
surrounded our residence ; the Sisters and Christians 
again pass a sad night in the church. An imperial 
decree, issued during the day, announces officially to 
all China that the churches of Pekin have been 

Sundayj June 17th. -r- From two till half -past three 
in the morning many cannon-shots and volleys from 
the side of the Legations. Toward ten o'clock, 
Boxers and troops blockade us completely. However, 
a Christian gives himself up, leaves, and brings us 
word from Mr. Pichon : " More than two thousand 
houses have been burned in Tsien-Men, of which 
twenty-six large Chinese banks." Afternoon very 
disturbed. The Boxers and their fires are seen all 
around us. 

Monday, June 18th, — We are fortifying ourselves 
against a possible attack from artillery, as several 
cannon have been brought to the south of our build- 
ings. Prince Tuan himself is not far away. At half- 
past four, a large number of Boxers came in vehicles, 
and preparations for attack began. A heavy rain 


sent hy Gtod at a quarter before six prevents the 

Tuesday, June 19th. — A servant from Si-fang, 
after having wandered abont in the city several days, 
succeeded in coming to ns, and told ns that Father 
Dor^ was burned to death in his room together with 
twenty Christians; he would not make use of his 
arms. A few days before, this brave Father said 
to me, — 

*^ Bishop, if I am attacked, may I make use of my 

I answered him, — 

^' Of course it is permitted in case of legitimate 

He added, — 

" But, if it were to defend myself alone, would it 
not be more perfect not to make use of it ? " 

I then said to him, — 

"Assuredly; to 'be murdered for God without 
making any defense is true martyrdom." 

That is what this beloved brother has done ! 

In the street ten pieces of cannon are turned 
toward us. Are they to defend the palace, or to 
attack us ? 

Wednesday f June 20th, '• — A Christian has reached 
us despite the blockade. He has informed us that 
the German minister was killed in going to Ya-men, 
and that the other ministers have received orders to 
leave within twenty-four hours. 

Thursday, June 21st. (30th anniversary of the 


massacres of Tientsin,) — A brave Cliristiaii has given 
himself up to go to the Legations again; he has 
brought back this short message from Mr. Pichon, — 

"The French Legation and other ministers are 
obliged to withdraw to the English Legation; the 
German minister has been really killed and his in- 
terpreter wounded ; the Austrian Legation has been 
evacuated and will be burned. The project of leaving 
Pekin has been abandoned. Let us. prepare our- 
selves for the last journey, but let us still hope.'^ 

On his part, Mr. Darcy, lieutenant and the superior 
officer of Mr. Paul Henry, has written to him: "You 
should have received the order to rally, but remain 
at your post for the present." God permitted that 
this order to rally never reached us, otherwise we 
should all have been lost. The situation is grave. 
Are we going to join the martyrs of Tientsin ? We 
are preparing ourselves for all things. 

Friday, June 22d^ Feast of the Sacred Heart. — 
We are completely blockaded, and are no longer able 
to hold communication with any one without. 

Those besieged are as follows, — 

Bishop Favier, Bishop Jarlin, coadjutor. Rev. Du- 
coulombier, procurator general of the Vicariate, Rev. 
Giron, director of the seminaries. Rev. Chavanne, 
professor recently arrived, Mr. Gartner, student not 
yet in Orders, Brother Denis and Brother Maes ; the 
Visitor of the Marist Brothers, the Superior and four 
Brothers of the same society ; twenty-two Sisters of 
Charity, of whom eight are native; thirty French 


marines of the d^ Entrecaateaux, the ensign in com- 
mand, Mr. Paul Henry, ten Italian marines, besides 
an adjutant and an ensign, Mr. Oli'v 3ri ; one hundred 
and eleven pupils of the Grand and L. %le Seminaries ; 
900 men and youths, refugees ; 1,800 women and 
children; 450 young girls from the schools and 
orphanages; 51 infants in the cradle; approximate 
total,. 3,420 in all, pf whom 71 are Europe, ns. 

With a pound to a person a day, we ha '^e enough 
provisions for more than one month; our rms con- 
sist of forty guns of the marines, seven or eight guns 
of all kinds in the hands of Chinese, a few poor 
swords and 500 lances, or rather 500 long . sticks 
tipped with iron. These are all. The line to be 
defended measures exactly 1360 yards. 

I had determined, in a pastoral letter, that the 
consecration of the Vicariate to the Sacred Heai't 
should take place to-day. At half-past six o'clock, 
the priest kneelitig at the foot of the altar was read- 
ing the first words of .consecration, when a severe 
cannon-shot broke a window of the church, where all 
had assembled, and killed a poor woman. A panic, 
readily pardoned, seized the people; all crowded in 
the chapels and sacristies of the west, as we had* been 
attacked from the east. Cannon reports succeeded one 
another at minute intervals : the church was speedily 
evacuated. Fourteen Krupp guns sent forth without 
interruption the latest improved Schrapnel bombs. 
Several small brick columns, double windows, flew 
into pieces; the facade of our cathedral is badly 




TiM * 

Cathedral of Pekim. 


the past three days. God grant that we may have 
enough provision, and that the army of relief may not 
be too long in coming ! 

Monday, June 25th, — The night, like the morning, 
was comparatively calm, but it seems that a great 
battle is being fought on the side of the Legations ; 
the cannon of yesterday are silent behind their 
intrenchments. We sustain well a hail of projectiles 
sent by guns on the ramparts: we have become 
accustomed to so much noise during the past three 
days that we hardly pay any more attention to it. 
The Boxers have placed mannikins on the roofs of 
the houses ; this childish stratagem does not make 
us waste ammunition. There remain 276 cartridges 
to each man, and they will not be put to other than 
good use. 

Tuesday, June 26th. — The Boxers have set fire to 
all the houses which adjoin us, and are working back 
of the imperial wall, where they are placing ladders 
and scaffolding, so as to be able to shoot more con- 
veniently. They are firing on us from all sides, but 
no one has been struck. In the afternoon there was 
a hard fight on the side of the Legations. 

Wednesday, June 27th, — Since six o'clock in the 
morning the Boxers have been again attacking us on 
the south ; they have entered our street with a large 
red flag, thinking perhaps that our post at the gate of 
entrance had been destroyed during the bombardment 
of the preceding days. Like the first time they were 
put to flight by well-directed volleys; they were 


chased in pui'suit, and the ai'ms which they threw 
down have been collected. In this sortie of scai-cefy 
one hundred yards, the second mate was unfortu- 
nately wounded by a shot in the shoulder. From 
the tops of houses, ladders, and scaffolding, the enemy 
has covered our courts and porches with shot for 
more than six hours ; a young girl has been killed, 
and a woman wounded in the head. About eleven 
o'clock in the evening we were surprised by a large 
band of Boxers throwing explosive bombs and burn- 
ing arrows against our Great Gate, which, at the same 
time, they wet with petroleum, by means of fire- 
pumps stolen by them. During this time the 
regular soldiers rained a shower of balls from their 
Mauser rifles. Everybody is behaving welL The 
Great Gate is saved, and only one Christian has been 
wounded. Our marines are truly admirable ; they all 
wear a scapular and a crucifix, and feel themselves 
protected by God. 

Thursday, June 28th. — After a calm enough day, 
we suffered a vigorous attack at six o'clock in the 
evening, and counted as many as 42 gun-shots to 
the minute ; terrible night. The Boxers began anew 
their attack against the Great Gate. Our people, 
infuriated, decided about midnight to venture a 
sortie. They threw themselves on the Boxers, who 
wet us with petroleum at a distance of less than 
thirty yards. Ten Boxers were killed, the others put 
to flight; two petroleum pumps, powder, shot, and 
even several chests of clothing, were captured. De- 


spite the terrible discharges from the regular soldiers, 
the most dangerous houses were set afire. The 
pumps taken still contained about twenty-five gallons 
of petroleum apiece ! 

Friday, June 29th, Feast of SS. Peter and Paul. — 
We offered our congratulations to the brave com- 
mander, Paul Henry ; we spoke of Angers, his coun- 
try, and the happiness of his parents upon seeing 
him again. He said to us, " You will see that we 
will save the Pei-t'ang ; perhaps some of us will be 
no more; I shall be happy to die in so worthy a 
cause ; I hope that God will open Paradise to me. 
If I am to die, I shall not die until you no longer 
need me,'* etc. 

I implored him, as on every day, not to expose 
himself. I fear for him, he is so brave, so full of 
courage, so devoted. 

It seems as though the Boxers intend to leave us 
this day of joy ; apart from the balls which are put- 
ting holes in our windows or flattening against the 
walls as usual, all is quiet, and we are not called upon 
to sustain any serious attack. At ten o'clock in the 
evening a frightful storm broke, and the thunder 
seemed to fall on the palace ; nevertheless, heavy 
firing on the side of the Legations. 

Saturday, June SOth. — The morning was saddened 
by the death of the poor second mate, Joannic ; we be- 
lieved him saved, when his wounds gangrened, and 
occasioned his death in a few hours. Alas ! we had 
neither doctor nor surgeon. He died like a brave 
Breton, fortified by all the sacraments. 


At half -past eleven we were surprised to see oiur- 
selves again bombarded ; a dozen bombs of very large 
caliber burst in the air without harming any one. At 
the end of a quarter of an hour, this cannonading, 
accompanied by heavy firing from the east, ceased all 
of a sudden. What did it mean? I saw on the 
mountain of the White Tower, in the midst of the 
lakes of the palace, twelve hundred yards from us, 
twenty persons magnificently clothed. It was thought 
that Prince Tuan, the Empress, and other high per- 
sonages, had come to look on the bombardment as 
upon a display of fireworks. Our marines had a great 
desire to send a discharge from their Lebels on this 
group, but I thought I should keep them from doing 
so in order not to excite an already too violent hatred. 

At half-past five we buried the second mate, very 
simply and quickly, in our garden, for balls rained 
mercilessly around those present. Our brave Chris- 
tians are all saddened, and say, " Why not one hun- 
dred of us dead instead of this brave seaman ? " 

Sunday, July Ist — About eight o'clock we heard 
a number of cannon-shots in the south ; are they the 
reinforcements? We still hope against all hope. 
For the first time we begin to eat asses' flesh ; mules 
and horses will follow ; there are eighteen of them. 
Smallpox has broken out among the children ; seven 
to eight are dying every day. 

Monday, July 2d, — The attacks are less lively 
than on preceding days, but the food is very bad; 
no more vegetables, no more salted herbs, for our 


poor Christians ; they commenced to lose spirit ; heat, 
38° C, atmosphere damp; no news for twelve days. 
What a long time ! 

Tuesday J July 3d, — A very heavy rain disturbs 
us greatly. If the rainy season has already com- 
menced, all hope of deliverance must be abandoned. 
As every one knows, everybody smokes in China. 
We have no more tobacco ; our people are making it 
with leaves from pear-trees, dried and powdered. 
Mortality is on the increase ; we are now burying as 
many as fifteen children a day. 

Wednesday y July Jffth. — This morning the Lega- 
tions were more severely attacked. About midday 
we saw the soldiers and Boxers erecting a large plat- 
form of earth to the north of the Yellow Wall ; they 
evidently want to place their cannon so as to bombard 
us from the rear, at eight hundred yards. Our gun- 
ners struck down twelve of these bandits. 

At five o'clock in the evening the Boxers again 
appeared opposite our Great Gate. The cannon which 
we had taken was loaded and pointed ; the Chinese 
artilleryman, a Christian formerly in the army of 
Prince Tuan, fired without orders and much too soon; 
the enemy fled, with only a few wounded. Christian 
watchmakers who have taken refuge amongst us, 
make excellent Lebel, Mauser, and other cartridges ; 
we shall not, therefore, lack ammunition. 

Thursday, July 5t1u — We have been able to manu- 
facture powder for the cannon taken from the enemy, 
and placed to protect the Sisters, so as to return the 


fire that threatens us from the north ; but it is very 
little compared with those who are firing against us. 
During the whole day we were aimed at from the 
south of the Yellow Wall, without any serious result 

Frldaj/f July 6th, — We begin to fear famine. 
Bioe, wheat, beans, millet — all is weighed exactly ; 
the total is better than we had hoped, — nearly sixty 
thousand pounds. With a pound to a person a day, 
we are safe for twenty days : at the end of that time 
we shall have surrendei'ed or been delivered. At 
five o'clock in the evening an unusual noise was 
heard : it was a fuse hurled at the church, which went 
tlu'ough a window, leaving a long train of fire in its 
wake. We picked it up ; it was composed of a tube 
about two feet long, of hammered copper, tipped with 
a strong triangular point; the end is formed of a 
wooden handle about ten feet long. These fuses go 
through a roof as easily as a loaded ball, and, besides, 
are a great menace of fire. 

Saturday^ July 7th. — Since half -past four in the 
morning, the Boxers have thrown explosives on our 
roof for two hours. More than two hundred and fifty 
of these projectiles have ignited, but our precautions 
were well planned ; casks, bathing-tubs, buckets full 
of water j men provided with hooks and pumps, were 
ready, and the fire did not spread. As six o'clock the 
cannon on the north was discharged, and at first sent 
simple balls against us. We answered by a full 
volley and several shots from our set cannon. The 
Tartars, surprised, quickly changed their cannon, and 


replaced it by a Krupp gun. The first shell blew our 
gunner to pieces ; the position became untenable ; all 
the structures to the west of Jeu-tse-t'ang are bored 
through. Moreover, during the whole day several 
hundreds of fuses were thrown on our roofs. This 
day is one of the most disastrous of the siege. Toward 
evening only, shells were replaced by Chinese bombs, 
many of which did not explode ; total, three hundred 
and sixty cannon-shots in twelve hours. But one of 
our number was killed and several were wounded. 
Without miraculous protection all would have been 
in flames to-day. 

Sunday, July 8th, — Since morning, we have 
strengthened the places weakened by the cannonad- 
ing of the preceding day ; but the bombardment be- 
gan again, more lively than before, at nine oclock ; 
at first, simple balls, then shells. The clock tower 
is completely demolished. Total, one hundred and 
two cannon shots and new fuses, which like those of 
the day before, did not set fire to anything. 

Monday, July 9th, — At five o'clock in the morn- 
ing, the Boxers again began to throw explosives; 
intense firing all day, and one hundred and seven 
cannon shots; only two Christians were wounded. 
We are beginning to be somewhat fatigued and dis- 
quieted, especially as the enemy is preparing, it 
seems to bombard us from the south and the west. 
From eleven till midnight, we heard a terrible, battle 
on the side of the legations. 

Tuesday, July 10th, — After a tranquil morning, 


fighting was renewed at ten o'clock ; the cannon on 
the north continued to demolish ; at two o'clock^ the 
attack became more vigorous ; two enormons pieces of 
artillery set on the south wrought much damage to 
our Great Gate and the church. A full volley silenced 
them for an instant, but the Chinese artillerymen pro- 
tected their gunners by iron masks. At the Great 
"Gate, the sailor David received a ball in the head, 
dying a half hour afterwards, fortified by the sac- 
raments. But five men remain at this dangerous 
post ; the others have taken refuge in the casemates ; 
one hundred and seven loaded balls, twenty-five 
pounds each, have been fired; one of these, after 
having blown the windows of our room into pieces, 
fell on the bed which I had just left. Still another 
miracle ! We no longer count them. 

Wednesday, July 11th, — A casemate has given 
way ; it is being speedily repaired despite the firing. 
A Mauser ball has passed through the hat of Bishop 
Jarlin ; a hair-breadth below, and I should have had 
no coadjutor. The Blessed Virgin has saved the be- 
loved and brave bishop. 

The bombardment began again at half-past one; 
a few minutes afterwards a fearful explosion shook 
all our buildings. A column of earth and stones is 
being raised over thirty yards high to the east of 
Jen-tse-t'ang. We all flee to it. Fortunately, the 
mine was not carried far enough, and we have es- 
caped with a few damaged houses, that can be 
propped ; one killed and several wounded. We thank 


God. The bombardment continues ; a shell has 
fallen in the chapel of the sisters^ on the benches 
which they have just left to go to supper. 

During the night, we set fire to houses which the 
Boxers occupied only yesterday ; we found twenty 
casks of petroleum, some swords and guns, which are 
burning with the other things. 

Thursday/, July 12th, — The morning of this day 
was so quiet that we thought the soldiers had left. 
But, about half-past ten, enormous balls commenced 
to rain down on us until six o'clock in the evening. 
Sent at long intervals apart, but fifty reached their 
aim ; that is to say, our Great Gate, which is now in 
a deplorable condition. 

Friday, July ISth. -r^The fear of mines decided 
us to undertake an exploration about two o'clock in 
the morning. Several holes were found and filled in, 
that were beginnings of mines in which rolls of 
electric wire had been placed, evidently intended to 
set off the powder. At midday, the firing of cannon 
began again. A sailor was seriously wounded in 
the head by splintering bricks ; another was sadly 
bruised. From seven till nine o'clock in the evening 
bombarding and filing on the side of legations. 

Saturday, July l^th. — Several Christians are going 
to set fire to the houses which interfere with the 
shooting from the Great Gate. At Jen-tse-t'ang, 
about eleven o'clock, an Italian marine was killed by 
a shot in the head. A Christian, who wanted to find 
out whence the fire came, was ^ likewise killed. Ex- 


cepting a few hundred gun-shots, the day has been 
quiet enough. 

Sunday, July 15th, — One would suppose that the 
Chinese ai-tilleiymen had repented their not bom- 
barding us yesterday ; from nine in the morning they 
recommenced their work of destruction ; the cannon 
on the south and south-west wrought the greatest 
damage at the Great Gate and to the church ; only 
one hundred and foi-ty shots during the day, and 
they continued during the night. Fresh nocturnal 
exploration ; two unfinished mines were again dis- 
covered and destroyed. 

Monday, July 16fh, — The Boxers continue to 
throw explosives without effect. From nine o'clock 
in the morning till ten in the evening, they sent hun- 
dreds of balls against us. One Christian woman 
has been killed ; a sailor has been wounded in both 
eyes by the splintering of bricks: one is certainly 

Tuesday, July 17th, — This day has been the most 
quiet, perhaps, of the siege ; no cannon-shots and 
scarcely and from guns. It seems as though the 
Boxers are preparing a scheme. We have begun a 
novena to Saint Ann, patroness of our brave Bretons. 
Our beloved commander Henry will present the ex- 
voto which we have promised if we ai*e delivered. 

Wednesday, July 18th, — We are energetically 
pushing the work of a counter-mine already begun, 
because, for some days, we have been hearing heavy 
blows on the west side of Jen-tse-t'ang under the 


Yellow Wall. About eleven o'clock we ascertained 
that our enemies were moving away on the side of the 
Pagoda of the lamas which adjoins us on the east. 
Fifty vehicles are transporting the chests and bundles 
of Boxers and soldiers. Is the army of relief ap- 
proaching, or do the lamas think that the neighbor- 
hood is going to be blown up ? Mystery ! 

Alas ! the second supposition is true. At five 
o'clock, mine explosion — twenty-five dead, twenty- 
eight wounded. The whole part west of Jen-tse-t'ang 
in ruins I We make a rush, expecting attack from 
the Boxers ; they did not come. Unfortunately we 
number among the dead Brother Joseph, a Marist, 
who led the workmen of the counter-mine, a young 
man, twenty-five years of age, as pious as he was 
brave, loved and lamented by all. The explosion 
occasioned a panic, and subterranean noises were 
supposed to be heard everywhere. Women and chil- 
dren ran about, frightened to death, and, despite the 
danger, most of them took refuge in the cathedral, 
which occupies the central site of our buildings. 

Thursday f July 19th, Feast of St, Vincent. — Burial 
of Brother Joseph,* exchange of fire with Boxers. 
The marine Franc, who exposed himself too much, 
received a ball in his head, and died almost instantly. 
He lived just long enough to receive absolution. 

Friday, July 20th, — Our Christians are again going 
to burn the most dangerous houses ; about six o'clock 
the Boxers, on their part, set fire to a house south of 
our Great Gata Work on the mine where the Sisters 


were was continued ; we need not urge our Christians 
to work ; they have not forgotten the catastrophe of 
the 18th. 

Saturday, July 21st, — Provisions are beginning to 
get low ; with great economy they will last fifteen 
days. The attempt was made to get some from a 
small store only two hundred yards distant; but 
stopped by soldiers and Boxers, our Christians re- 
turned empty-handed. 

Sunday, July 22d: — Firing continued all night; 
the enemy evidently feafs that we are going for pro- 
visions ; two Christians have been wounded, and one 
sailor lost his left eye by a ball that lodged back of 
the ear. One of our Chinese sighted the Boxers 
digging a large ditch back of the Yellow Wall. Four 
men ascended the ladders, the barrels of their guns 
well-filled, and shot down twenty of the enemy, as 
well as two mandarins. In the evening, diluvian 
rain ; the casemates are uninhabitable. 

Monday, July 23d. — After a half-day's quiet, we 
were attacked in the afternoon at foiu* o'clock by 
several thousand Boxers, and as many regular sol- 
diers, called together by tam-tams and trumpets that 
sounded without interniption. 

The attack was made simultaneously on the north, 
east, and south. The death of several marines and 
the serious wounds of some others deprived us of five 
guns. We had trained and drilled so many of the 
Marist Brothers and Chinese students of the seminary 
not in orders, so that our thirty Lebel guns were all 


in constant use, besides the ten Italians defending the 
Sisters. The attack was extremely vigorous. Boxers, 
lamas, and regular soldiers, to the number of more 
than one thousand, tried to scale the wall. They left 
one hundred and fifty dead on the ground, and took 
to flight. Enraged, the soldiers of Prince Tuan dis- 
charged all their ammunition on the side of our 
Grand Gate, and, without exaggeration, during one 
hour sent five thousand Mauser bullets that did not 
wound a single one of us. The trumpets then sounded 
a retreat, and we were left undisturbed. It was nine 
o'clock in the evening. 

Tuesday y July 2Jith. — In the north-east near the 
Pagoda we see a number of Boxers wearing yellow 
turbans and belts. These are the brigade of lamas. 
They carry a French flag. This puerile ruse makes 
us laugh despite the sadness of the hour. About 
half-past four tam-tams again united the Boxers, and 
we anticipated an attack which did not take place. 
Yesterday's lesson was profitable. Three Christians 
were wounded during the day, and a new mine dis- 
covered on the south. From the top of the church 
large numbers of flags were seen, and at night as 
many lanterns on the walls of the city. 

Wednesday^ July 25th. — Quiet enough day. Our 
Christians went out and burned several embattled 
houses without being disturbed. The Boxers dug 
very deep trenches back of the Yellow Wall ; we do 
not know why. Our marines killed a dozen of these 


Thursday f July 26th. — At one o'clock veiy lond 
explosion. An exploded mine was the first thought 
of all, and eyerj one ran to his post. It was nothing. 
A bold Boxer had carried a large bomb to onr eastern 
wall, and it exploded without doing any damage. At 
three o'clock Father ChaTanne, a Lazarist priest, 
died almost suddenly. A few days before he had 
been woiinded on guard at his post by a ball probably 
poisoned, since it brought on black smallpox which 
caused his death. 

Friday, July 27th. — We hear very severe cannon- 
ading distinctly on the south and east; we always 
hope to see the army coming. Several fuses thrown 
at night made us think that the Legations are com- 
municating by signals with troops outside of the 
city. What is hoped for is easily believed. . . . 

Saturday, July 28th. — ^e are again very seri- 
ously concerned about provisions ; we have fixed the 
rations at eight ounces a day for a person. We can 
thus survive ten days. Cannon were again heard 
about ten o'clock. One was set only 100 yards away 
from Jen-tse-t'ang ; the gunners were quickly shot 
down, but the cannon was moved farther away and 
sent 75 projectiles against us. The enemy seem to 
be short of ammunition, and are loading their cannon 
with almost anything, even stones. During the 
night we received 36 bombs and numberless shots 
from guns on the ramparts. 

Sunday y July 29th» — The bombardment continues ; 
the soldiers have shot off 115 filled balls, and bullets 


have been so numerous that all our battlements are 
demolished ; three Christians were killed. 

Monday J July SOth, — The night was bad ; they 
continued to fire on Jen-tse-t'ang. From seven 
o'clock in the morning, the cannon commenced their 
work, assisted by heavy firing on the part of regular 
soldiers. Commander Henry is descending the break 
with twelve men; Boxers enter in large numbers, 
carrying f agofes wet with petroleum, which they light 
against the northern wall. 

Commander Henry multiplies himself ; several hun- 
dreds of the Boxers have been killed ; unfortunately, 
two sailors were wounded by a ball which entered 
the commander's neck. He then descended from the 
scaffolding, and received a second mauser bullet in 
his side. Kotwithstanding these two mortal wounds, 
he still kept up ; finally he succumbed under the 
veranda, in the arms of a priest, who administered 
the last Sacraments to him. At the end of twenty 
minutes, he died as a brave soldier and good Chris- 
tian. We shed tears but once during the siege, and it 
was on this day. Never before have we been so low 
down ; the simple quartermaster Elias took command 
of the detachment; but Bishop Jarlin is there to 
watch over our Bretons, who cry like children over 
the death of their leader. One hundred and fifty 
shots from cannon were fired during the day. One 
hope is left to us ; the commander had told us, " I 
shall not die until you no longer need me." He 
will protect us from Heaven with St. Mauritius and 
St. George, whom he has joined. 


Tuesday^ July Slst — The Boxers have sent arrows 
against us, to which writings of similar character 
have been attached. They contain about what 
follows : — 

" You, Christians, shut up in the Pei-tang, reduced 
to the greatest misery, eating leaves of trees, why do 
you resist with so much animosity when you are 
no longer able to do so ? We have leveled cannon 
and set mines against you, and you will be destroyed 
in a short time. You have been deceived by the 
devils of Europe; return to the ancient religion of 
* Fono,' deliver up Bishop Favier and the others, and 
you will have saved your lives, and we will give you 
to eat. If you do not do so, you, your wives and 
children, will all be cut into pieces." 

It is needless to say that not one of our brave Chris- 
tians was so much as tempted to accept these offers, 
and yet each received but ten ounces of food a day. 

To-day eighty shots from cannon were fired against 
us without much damage, excepting to our roofs, 
which are nearly all riddled. 

Wednesday, August 1st — Since six o'clock in the 
morning the Boxers have returned to the north ; they 
are only three to four hundred in number. They 
were quickly routed ; at least fifty were killed. 

A short time afterwards we heard on the side of 
the Pagoda of the lamas, cries and firing. It seems 
that there was a quarrel between the Boxers and the 
soldiers, and that the latter killed some of their 


Thursday J August 2d. — We are lessening our 
own rations and those of our Christians ; weakness is 
general. We have only just enough to keep us from 
starving to death. The dogs that are feeding on the 
dead bodies of Boxers are hunted, killed, and eaten ; 
our unfortunate people are adding this miserable 
food to leaves of trees and roots of all kinds. The 
time for the rainy season has come long since, but no 
rain falls. God has left the roads passable for the 
army of relief. 

Friday, August Sd, — It seems as though we are 
no longer watched, shots are so rare. There is even 
some talk of venturing a sortie at two o'clock in the 
morning in quest of grain ; but for this we would be 
obliged to expose the lives of two-thirds of our 
marines ; we shall not do so until there is absolutely 
nothing more to eat in the house. 

Saturday, August Jfth, — As usual, for four days 
we have been left undisturbed during the day ; but at 
night severe firing always begins again. The Boxers 
and regulars know that we are in the very last 
extremity of need, and are trying to keep us from 
going out. Urged on by hunger, several Christians 
escaped, entered burned houses, and brought back a 
little burned rice found among the rubbish ; it is very 

Sunday, August 5th, — The question of food is the 
only one that now engages our attention : we can 
resist balls, bullets, and bombs, but we can make no 
resistance against famine. We have carefully weighed 


all that there is to eat ; the total amount is 7,000 
poTinds. It is decided to distribute 1,000 pounds a 
day among 3,000 persons. Thus we can survive seven 
days. We fervently hope that the army of relief 
will arrive this week. God has granted us such 
strong protection until now. 

Monday, August 6th. — A few Christians, unable to 
suffer the pangs of hunger any longer, again ventured 
out ; three were captured by the Boxers, who led them 
away to be cut into pieces. To this sad occurrence 
another is added : the sailor on duty at the Great 
Gate has had his right eye shot out. There are already 
three among our poor soldiers blind in one eye I 

Tuesday, August 7th, — Severe cannonading has 
been heard in the distance. Soldiers and Boxers are 
attacking us feebly. This makes us hope that the 
army is approaching ; but our Christians are so weak- 
ened that they are sleeping under the verandas, thin, 
pale, and as if in a faint. If the enemy were to attempt 
an assault upon our five hundred armed men of the 
start, hardly twenty-five would be in a condition to 
repulse them. 

Wednesday, August 8th. — Always the same quiet, 
without a total. cessation of firing. A Christian gath- 
ering leaves on a tree was struck by a ball, and fell 
like a poor bird pierced by an arrow. 

Thursday, August 9th. — We are constantly on the 
watch, as the Boxers have promised that we shall all 
perish ; in face of the danger, east of the Great Gate 
is being explored. One Christian has been killed, and 


two have been wounded, but a mine was discovered, 
and just in time to be destroyed. 

Friday, August 10th, — We acknowledge with terror 
that in two days our provisions will be exhausted ; we 
have set aside four hundred pounds of rice and a mule, 
so that our defenders may survive ten days. 

The question was proposed whether anything shall 
be reserved for ourselves and the Sisters. The answer 
was unanimous, — " No : we shall die with our Chris- 
tians.'' Some one, however, remarked that we de- 
served greater pity than the poor people, since they 
could eat the leaves of trees, and we could not. It 
was then decided that a two-pound loaf of bread 
should be given to each one of us. This last reserve 
was kept in our rooms. 

The rations have been reduced to two ounces per 
person. Six days are thus assured ; but what days ! 
Still water is plenty, and with it, life can be preserved 
some time. 

At midday the cannon on the north was again fired 
against us, as well as that on the east, — only fifty balls^ 
however. The aim is poor. The Boxers, inexpe- 
rienced, are handling the pieces. About three o'clock 
a captive balloon was seen on the south : our confidence 

Saturday, August 11th, — Sixty shots from cannon, 
to-day again. Instead of balls they are firing any- 
thing at all, — old iron, nails, stones, even brick. In 
the evening, we discovered and destroyed another 
mine on the south of the Great Gate. 


Sunday, August 12th, — At quarter-past six in the 
morning^ violent explosion, a mine more terrible than 
the others burst where the Sisters were.- All, at 
once, ran to the scene. Happily, most of the chil- 
dren and religious were at Mass in the chapel, other- 
wise half would have perished. The damage done is 
fearful ; all the eastern part of Jen-tse-fang is a heap 
of rubbish, A hollow seven yards deep and forty in 
diameter marks the place of explosion. Five Italian 
marines and their officer disappeared; more than 
eighty Christians, including fifty-one children in the 
cradle, have been buried forever tmder this nun. 
Notwithstanding a shower of balls, we go to help the 

Brother Julius- Andrew, Visitor of the Marist 
Brothers, met his death in trying to save a half- 
buried woman. He was a man of great courage, who, 
during the whole siege, manifested intelligence, devo- 
tion, and bravery beyond compare. 

The French marines, who at once appeared on the 
scene of disaster, killed fifty Boxers that tried to 
force an entrance; the others took to flight. Until 
evening we worked trying to save the buried. We 
rescued Mr. Olivieri, commander of the Italian de- 
tachment; he is covered with bruises, but he will be 
spared. Of his five marines, two were discovered liv- 
ing, but their wounds leave no ground for hope. A 
post of French marines is stationed at Jen-tse-t'ang 
with some seminarians to defend, in case of need, the 
break, which is eighty yards long. Since eight o'clock 


in the morning the cannonading has not ceased; we 
have received more than one hundred projectiles. 
We are at the very last extremity. 

Monday, August 12t1u — All are suffering very 
much from famine; despondency is general, but the 
repeated firing of cannon heard in the distance leaves 
us a little hope. At eleven o'clock a new mine ex- 
ploded in Jen-tse-t'ang ; thanks be to God ! it was not 
carried far enough, and the damage done is compara- 
tively insignificant. 

In the evening we heard the Boxers cry, *'The 
devils from Europe are approaching: we will die if 
we must, but you shall perish before us." 

At four o'clock in the evening the brave marine, 
Robours, was killed at his post by being shot in the 
forehead. We have only enough food to last two 
days, and what food ! 

Tuesday, August Htlu — A terrible battle is being 
fought on the south-east ; we hear cannon, mitrail- 
leuses and volleys, f ron the top of the church ; the 
Chinese flags are seen to disappear from the walls. 
At eleven o'clock the bombardment is stronger; we 
see fugitives making their escape, people who are 
moving away. Despite the balls sent against us 
from all sides, hope reigns in our hearts. We are 
again able to speak, smiles come to our lips, for the 
army of relief is evidently attacking Pekin. At five 
o'clock in the evening we see at a long distance five 
strange officers on the walls and a marine signaling to 
the east; not far from there, an American flag is 


waving. Until nine o'clock missiles are multiplied; 
we see two to three hundred wounded Chinese carried 

Wednesday^ August 15thy Feast of the Assumption. 
— Before daybreak, a gate of Pekin, on the east, was 
in flames. From seven till nine o'clock, noise of can- 
non, volleys aad firing of mitrailleuses are incessantly 
heard. The army is probably making an assault. 
Numbers of European soldiers are seen in the place 
where the five officers were yesterday. 

Until nine o'clock in the evening we hoped that 
they would come to deliver us. The Blessed Virgin, 
who has led the troops into Pekin on the day of her 
glorious Assumption, will send them to us to-morrow, 
please God! Four hundred pounds of food are left 
for three thousand persons! Providence seems to 
have counted the grains of rice; could He have 
counted more exactly ? 

Thursday f August 16th, — I had just celebrated 
Mass at six o'clock, and was making my act of 
thanksgiving under a veranda, when I heard severe 
firing from a large band approaching from the south. 
About half-past seven the shots came perceptibly 
nearer, and before eight o'clock were, heard about 
three hundred yards away, behind the gate of the 
Yellow City called Si-Hoa. This gate had been 
closed, large numbers of regular soldiers occupied it, 
and in the street which leads from this gate to the 
Imperial Palace, several strong barricades had been 
built of sacks of rice which were defended by at least 


fifteen hundred men armed with repeaters, not count- 
ing the Boxers and regulars stationed in the embat- 
tled houses provided with embrasures. 

Oar people, who climbed the walls, thought that they 
recognized some European soldiers stationed behind 
the gate of Si-Hoa ; others, Chinese soldiers ; we did 
not know whether it were a last attack or deliverance 
that was in preparation. At all events, I sounded 
the Casquette du Fere Bugeaud on the bugle three 
times. No response, no hurrah, came back from 
without; but from within, a rain of projectiles poured 
down upon us. A bomb exploded at my feet; I had 
time to shelter myself back of a Brick column. At 
the end of a half hour, a bold Christian, who climbed 
the wall of the Yellow City, came running to me and 
said : 

" They are surely Europeans; I saw an officer dressed 
in white, with stripes." We had ali-eady raised a 
large French flag on top of the church, with the sig- 
nal, "We ask for immediate relief." The director 
of the Seminary, and his students carried another new 
flag two hundred yards farther north and repeated 
the bugle-calls. The officer seen came up to the flag ; 
a ladder was passed to him, and he pressed the hand 
of my coadjutor who had gone to that side. It was a 
Japanese captain. He asked, " Can you open the gate 
of the Yellow City ? " 

It was impossible considering our small number. 

"Very good," he replied; "I shall try to force it." 

And he went down on the other side of the wall. 


At this moment we saw a new band of soldiers, 
dressed in blue, quickly approaching with cannon. 

"This time," they called out to me, "we are no 
longer in doubt ; they are French." They ran directly 
up to the flag, set some ladders on their side, and we 
placed others on our side. In a few minutes, fifty 
of Marty's company with their commander were 
among us. During this time the Japanese, scaling 
the wall farther south, had opened a panel of the gate ; 
the French artillery, stationed opposite, finished the 
work, and despite the fire of several thousand shots 
to the minute, the barricades were attacked. 

The marine infantry that had entered our lines had 
time to cross our ground, and take the large barricade 
in the rear after having scaled and burned the embat- 
tled house, and met their defenders at the point of the 

The battle was over. More than eight hundred 
dead bodies of Boxers or Chinese regulars were strewn 
on the ground. We had cause to mourn only the loss 
of two killed ; three were wounded, among them Com- 
mander Marty. 

It was about ten o'clock. The French Minister, 
Mr. Pichon, and General Frey had been in the Pei- 
tang for a quarter of an hour. Keedless to say that 
mutual greetings and congratulations were offered 
from the depths of our hearts. We were saved I 


Plan of the New Pei-Tano. 



1. Cathedral of Pekin. 


Privileged Altar of the Pas- 

2, 2' Imperial Pavilions. 


3. Esplanade. 


A', Af', U*', Missionaries' 

4, 4^ 4'^ Gates in Wrought Iron. 


5. Entrance Court. 


Private Chapel. 

6. Principal Entrance. 


Bishop's Apartments and 

7. Court of Honor. 

Clock Tower. 

8. St. Joseph's Couft. 


Drawing Room. 

9. Our Tiady*6 Court. 


Grand Parlor. 

10. St. Vincent's Court. 


Treasurer's Office. 

11. Seminary Court. 


Main Library. 

12. Prep. Seminary Court. 



13. Office Court. 


Chinese Library. 

14. Vegetable Garden. 


llecreation Boom. 

15. Park. 


Store House. 

16. Brothers' Court. 



17. Printing Department. 


Warerooms of Printing De- 

18. Visitors' Department. 


19. Bandstand. 


Chinese Warerooms. 

20. Monument. 



21. Kiosk. 


Business Offices. 

22. Wells. 


Brothers' Workshops. 

a. High Altar and Sanctuary. 



b. Altar of Blessed Virgin. 


Printing, Binding, and Ma* 

c. Altar of St. Joseph. 

chine Shops. 

d. Altar of St. Vincent. 


Visitoi-s' Quarters. 

e. Altar of B. Perboyre. 


Servants' Quarters. 

f. Altar of St. Michael. 


Seminary Dormitory and Class- 

g. Altar of B. Odorick. 


h. Altar of St. Peter. 


Seminary Refectory. 

i. Altar of St. Philomena. 


Seminary Chapel. 




Z. Class Booms of Prep. Sem- 

W. Dormitories of Prep. Semi- 

4- Stables, Sheds, etc. 

The line . . . shows the 

area occupied by the old Pei- 

B. "R/ Street separating buildings 
of the missionaries from 
those of the Sisters. 


1. Catechumen's and Dispensary 


2. Sisters' Court. 

3. School Court. 

4. Orphanage Court. 
6. Service Court. 

6. Church Yard 

7. Court of the Novitiate. 

A. Church of the Immaculate 


B. Apartments of the Superioress 

and Novitiate. 

C. Schools. 

D. Orphanage. 

E. Sisters' Quarters. 

F. Catecb union's Quarters. 

G. Dispensary. 

H. Infirmary and Store House. 

I. Sundry Apartments. 

J. Chapel of the Children of 

K. Store House. 
L. Laundry, Nursery, etc. 
M. Entrance. 
N. Wells. 

^ri ; ': 

dissociation for tbe Propagation 
of the faith 

H»mtlv»rtmrm for Ihm Unltmd Sti 
St. Mapjr'* SmittlnmrHf 

'TpHE object of the Association for the 
Propagation of the Faith is to assist by 
prayers and alms the Catholic Missionaries 
engaged in preaching the Gospel in heathen ■ 
and non-Catholic countries. 

At present it contributes towards thej 
support of 325 Dioceses or Vicariates and! 
nearly 20,000 Missionaries in all parts of| 
the world. 

For all information concerning the truly 
Catholic work of this Association, apply to 

Rev. J. Freri, D.C.L', 

Si. Mary's Seminary, 



The borrower must return this item on or before 
the last dale stamped below. If another user 
places a recall for this item, the borrower will 
be notified of the need for an earlier return. 

Non-receipt of overdue notices does not exempt 
the borrower from overdue fines. 

Harvard College Widener Library 
Cambridge, MA 02138 617-495-2413