Monday, September 22, 2014

SPOTLIGHT ON A SAINT: Martyrs of Korea


I haven't done a SPOTLIGHT ON A SAINT, for way over a year and the truth is that this was supposed to be a series. I completely bungled this. I will try to do better, but can't make any promises because then if I don't do any better that is just one more disappointment.... So I will forgive myself and then just move on...

So on September 20th the Catholic Church commemorates the Martyrs of Korea (the entire Peninsula because at the time there was only one Korea). The reason I wanted to spotlight them is because it is fascinating to me how the Christian Church in Korea (both South and North) seem to grow (grow a lot freely in South Korea) when there was such awful and disastrous level of persecution not only of missionaries but also Korean nationals. Recently I also saw a show that was explaining a play/musical about two Korean martyrs who were married but (unless I misunderstood) did not engage in sexual relations. I didn't get all the particulars and can't find it right now, but it was an interesting thing. North Korean Christians are having the most difficult of situations in such a repressive and evil country. Christians attempts at propagating the Word continues to be met with suspicion, imprisonment and even death. If you pray, please pray for South and North Korean Brothers and Sisters who are oppressed, persecuted and the families and communities of the martyrs.

All of that makes me wants to take the time to commemorate the Martyrs of Korea who were plentiful and their blood are of course part of the mortar of the Church making her strong and able to do the work of the Spirit of G-d.

I took the following information from I don't want to put a link here because it has some materials or links to videos that I find are too strong and perhaps you maybe tempted to click on them and then regret it and I don't want to be a link to that. Link to the violence that ISIS is doing on individuals. Please don't want those videos. Anyway here is the information about the Martyrs of Korea:

The men and women who were slain because they refused to deny Christ in the nation of Korea. The faith was brought to Korea in a unique fashion. The intellectuals of that land, eager to learn about the world, discovered some Christian books procured through Korea's embassy to the Chinese capital. One Korean, Ni-seung-houn, went to Beijing in 1784 to study Catholicism and was baptized Peter Ri. Returning to Korea, he converted many others. In 1791, when these Christians were suddenly viewed as foreign traitors, two of Peter Ri's converts were martyred, men named Paul Youn and Jacques Kuen. The faith endured, however, and when Father James Tsiou, a Chinese, entered Korea three years later, he was greeted by four thousand Catholics. Father Tsiou worked in Korea until 1801 when he was slain by authorities. Three decades later the Prefecture Apostolic of Korea was established by Pope Leo XII, after he received a letter smuggled out of Korea by faithful Catholics. In 1836, Monsignor Lawrence Imbert managed to enter Korea. Others arrived, and they worked until 1839, when a full persecution started, bringing about the martyrdom of the European priests. Young Korean candidates for the priesthood were sent to Macau for ordination. The first native priest, Andrew Kim Taegon, returned to Korea in 1845 and was martyred the following year. Severe persecution followed, and Catholics fled to the mountains, still spreading the faith. In 1864, a new persecution claimed the lives of two bishops, six French missionaries, another Korean priest, and eight thousand Korean Catholics. The Korean martyrs of 1839, 1846, and 1867 were canonized in Korea in 1984 by Pope John Paul II.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Share your sanity or insanity with the rest of us...