China’s oldest priest died Jan. 20 at the age of 105.

“Father Ye Yaomin withstood persecution and banishment to help build up the Church in China,” UCA News said, adding that his “epic life spanned the fall of emperors, wars and a Communist Party intolerant of his devout faith.”

Yaomin of Guangzhou was ordained in 1948, a year before the Communist Party took power and eroded the role of the Church.

His funeral is scheduled for Jan. 24.