China's Oldest Priest dies RIP Fr. Ye Yaomin Age 105 - "Never hate because hate is a sin."

The Chinese Church mourns Fr. Ye Yaomin, who died aged 105. He spent 25 years doing hard labor
He was the oldest priest in the country. On his deathbed he prayed that new vocations for the local church flourish and condemned hate, which "is always a sin." Catholic sources tell AsiaNews: "He was the last of the 'elder' priests, ordained before the advent of Mao. They had kept the faith and dignity intact."

Guangzhou (AsiaNews) - China's oldest priest, Fr. Philip Ye Yaomin, died "peacefully, praying for the Church, for a flowering of vocations and rejecting hatred. He was the last of the 'elders', the priests ordained before the advent of Mao Zedong, who despite persecution had kept intact both faith and dignity".  This is how a Catholic source Guangzhou remembers Fr. Ye speaking toAsiaNews.  They priest had lived in the region for a long period before he died on 21 January at the age of 105.
His life was described as "epic" and ranged from the fall of the Chinese Empire to the civil war, and  the regime of the Communist Party intolerant of his strong faith.  On meeting him in 2007 in the Cathedral of Guangzhou, capital of the rich southern province of Guangdong, Fr. Ye recalled with a smile the period of the Cultural Revolution: "I was buried alive for a day and a night. Thank God that my faithful managed to stick a bamboo to help me breathe in the ground!".
For his final days Fr. Ye chose the Church of the Immaculate Conception of Foshan, his hometown. UCAN news agency spoke to the nun who cared for him in recent decades, Chen Jianyin, who says: "In recent times he had decided to refuse hospital treatment and food. He seemed aware of the imminence of his end. He told us that the Church was his home and he wanted to die at home. For this reason his parishioners have taken him to the Immaculate Conception, where he died".

Born in 1910 and baptized with the name of Philip, at age 27 Fr. Ye went to Hong Kong to study at the Major Seminary of Southern China. He remained there for seven years, until the end of World War II, then to returned to Guangzhou. He was ordained priest in 1948, and the year after faced the advent of the Communist Party who were determined to quell the Catholic Church.

In 1955 he was reported for "illegal possession of foreign material", a newsletter sent by old seminary classmates still in Hong Kong (at the time still in the hands of Great Britain). He was sentenced to live and work on a pig farm in the province of Qinghai, where he remained until 1980. Recalling those days, Fr. Ye used to say: "Never hate because hate is a sin."

Shared from AsiaNews IT