Saint Days: Sundar Singh, Evangelist to India and Teacher of the Faith
Sundar Singh (1889-1929?) was born into a Sikh family in Northern India. As a young man, he learned from a sadhu, an ascetic holy man.
His mother died when he was 14, sending him into a downward spiral of violence which included persecuting Christians and burning Bibles. This violent lifestyle left him feeling empty. His plan was to commit suicide unless the true God would reveal himself. That very night, he had a vision of the face of Christ and opened himself to the Truth and converted to Christianity. He was denounced by his family and his brother tried to poison him on multiple occasions. People from their community would throw snakes into his house.
He was baptized into the Church at the age of 16. He viewed himself as a Christian sadhu and lived an ascetic life. He became known as "the apostle with the bleeding feet" given the amount he traveled to preach the Gospel.
It is uncertain how Sundar died. Some people think it was on account of exhaustion or illness. Others believe he was murdered. Still, some assert he was assumed into heaven. Either way, he lived the life of a faithful Christian disciple.
By the way, his brother who had tried to poison him ended up becoming a Christian.
Sundar gives a great quote about being a disciple:
"I am not worthy to follow in the steps of my Lord but, like Him, I want no home, no possessions. Like Him I will belong to the road, sharing the suffering of my people, eating with those who will give me shelter, and telling all men of the love of God."
Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for your servant Sundar Singh, whom you called to preach the Gospel to the people of India; raise up in this and every land evangelists and heralds of your kingdom, that your Church may proclaim the unsearchable riches of our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.