何文生先(文致和主教侄外孙、九位致命者的亲朋代表 Dr. Vincent Hermans second cousin of Bishop Frans Schraven, representing the relatives and friends of nine martyrs)
Dear Mr. Chairman and Participants,
It is a great honor for me to be here and to speak to you a few sentences on behalf of the family of bishop Schraven. My grandmother was his eldest sister and I am born at the farm where bishop Schraven grew up and spent his youth. As a small boy bishop Schraven frightened me. When I went to bed and climbed the staircase I looked at his portrait: a man with a very long beard and I was scared. As a child my father told me the story of his uncle, murdered in China. But at my question why he was murdered and by whom he could not give me any answer and he replied: ‘ We’ ll never know it’
To be honest in my family bishop Schraven was almost forgotten. Only some years ago we received from China the story of the truth of the massacre: the why and by whom. By doing so China has given back our granduncle to us. We are very grateful for this precious gift from China. On the grave of the bodily remains of the nine martyrs, there has been no grave tomb any more for years. That was not necessary because many Chinese people have given them a tomb deep in their hearts and have preserved it for years. As the consequence of this process there now is a Msgr. Schraven Foundation in the Netherlands.
This has given cause to the research of many archives in Europe and with the assistance of many friends in Europe, China and Japan, two members of the Schraven family are here today and like to give you a gift in return. Today they are going to present to you the results of the investigation in mainly European archives about the massacre of Zhengding church. We are very grateful to the Chinese authorities and the Chinese Catholic Church as well as Chinese universities for giving us this excellent opportunity at this conference. We are grateful to the organizers of this conference inviting us.
We really hope that this conference will contribute to the recognition of these heros’ massacred for the protection of Chinese people.
Today this conference itself is already the erection of a monument for these nine brave men, who died out of love for the Chinese people.
On behalf of my family I wish you a fruitful conference and success with the erection of this monument.
Vincent Hermans (secretary of the Msgr. Schraven Foundation)