Monday, October 25, 2021

Saints Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Hasang and Companions – Feast Day – September 20

Saints Andrew Kim Taegon, Priest, and Paul Chong Hasang, and Companions, Martyrs is the Patron Saint of Korean Clergy

Saints Andrew Kim Taegon, Priest, and Paul Chong Hasang, and Companions, Martyrs Date of Birth, Country of Birth, Profession, Place of Work, Date of Death, Place of Death, Beatification Date, Canonization Date, Matrimony/Holy Orders, Priests who became Saints

Saints Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Hasang and Companions Biography
Martyrs of Korea - Saints Andrew Kim Tae-gŏn, Priest, and Paul Chŏng Ha-sang, and Companions, Martyrs
Martyrs of Korea – Saints Andrew Kim Tae-gŏn, Priest, and Paul Chŏng Ha-sang, and Companions, Martyrs
Date of Birth Saints Andrew Kim Taegon was born on August 21, 1821 and Paul Chong Hasang was born on 1794
Place of Birth Korea, South in Asia
Profession Saint Andrew Kim Taegon was the first Korean Catholic priest and Paul Chong Hasang was a servant of a government interpreter
Place of Work Seoul, South Korea
Date of Death Saint Paul Chong Hasang died on September 22, 1839 and Saint Andrew Kim Taegon died on September 16, 1846
Place of Death Saint Andrew Kim Taegon died at Han River, Hanseong, Joseon (now Seoul, South Korea)
Feast Day September 20
Beatification By Saint Andrew Kim Taegon was beatified in 1925
Canonization By Pope John Paul II on 6 May 1984
Patron Saint of Korean Clergy

Saints Andrew Kim Taegon, Priest, and Paul Chong Hasang, and Companions, Martyrs Short life History

Saint Andrew Kim Taegon

Saint Andrew Kim Taegon was the first Korean-born Catholic priest and is the patron saint of Korea. In the late 18th century, Roman Catholicism began to take root slowly in Korea and was introduced by scholars who visited China and brought back Western books translated into Chinese.

In 1836 Korea saw its first consecrated missionaries (members of the Paris Foreign Missions Society) arrive, only to find out that the people there were already practicing Korean Catholics.

Born of yangban, Kim’s parents were converts and his father was subsequently martyred for practising Christianity, a prohibited activity in heavily Confucian Korea. After being baptized at age 15, Kim studied at a seminary in the Portuguese colony of Macau.

He also spent time in study at Lolomboy, Bocaue, Bulacan, Philippines, where today he is also venerated. He was ordained a priest in Shanghai after nine years (1844) by the French bishop Jean-Joseph-Jean-Baptiste Ferréol.

He then returned to Korea to preach and evangelize. During the Joseon Dynasty, Christianity was suppressed and many Christians were persecuted and executed. Catholics had to covertly practice their faith.

Kim was one of several thousand Christians who were executed during this time. In 1846, at the age of 25, he was tortured and beheaded near Seoul on the Han River.

Paul Chong Hasang

Saint Paul Chong Hasang was one of the Korean Martyrs. His feast day is September 22, and he is also venerated along with the rest of the 103 Korean martyrs on September 20.

He was the son of the martyr Augustine Jeong Yak-Jong and a nephew of noted philosopher John Jeong Yak-Yong, who were among the first converts of Korea, who wrote the first catechism for the Roman Catholic Church in Korea (entitled “Jugyo Yoji”).

When Yakjong was martyred with Hasang’s older brother, Yakjong’s wife and the remaining children were spared and went into a rural place; Hasang was seven years old.

When he grew up, Hasang chose to become a servant of a government interpreter; this enabled him to travel to Beijing multiple times, where he entreated the bishop of Beijing to send priests to Korea, and wrote to Pope Gregory XVI via the bishop of Beijing requesting the establishment of a diocese in Korea. This happened in 1825.

Some years later, Bishop Laurent-Marie-Joseph Imbert and two priests were sent. The bishop found Hasang to be talented, zealous, and virtuous; he taught him Latin and theology, and was about to ordain him when a persecution broke out.

Hasang was captured and gave the judge a written statement defending Catholicism. The judge, after reading it, said, “You are right in what you have written; but the king forbids this religion, it is your duty to renounce it.” Hasang replied, “I have told you that I am a Christian, and will be one until my death.”

After this Hasang went through a series of tortures in which his countenance remained tranquil. Finally, he was bound to a cross on a cart and cheerfully met his death, at the age of 45.

The Korean Martyrs are commemorated by the Roman Catholic Church with a memorial on 20 September. 103 of them, including Hasang, were canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1984.

Today’s Catholic Quote:

“This is my last hour of life, listen to me attentively: if I have held communication with foreigners, it has been for my religion and for my God. It is for Him that I die. My immortal life is on the point of beginning. Become Christians if you wish to be happy after death, because God has eternal chastisements in store for those who have refused to know Him.

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