Friday, December 9, 2022

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

Saints Andrew Kim Tae-gŏn, Paul Chŏng Ha-sang, and Companions are the Korean Martyrs who were killed in Korea for their faith during the 19th-century persecutions of Catholic Christians.

103 Catholic Christians were canonized as saints on May 6 1984 by Pope John Paul II, although around 10,000 had already been killed during this period. On August 16 2014, Paul Yun Ji-Chung and other 123 martyrs were beatified by Pope Francis.

Saints Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Hasang and Companions Biography
Saints Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Hasang and Companions - Feast Day - September 20
Saints Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Hasang and Companions – Feast Day – September 20
Date of Birth Saints Andrew Kim Taegon was born on August 21, 1821 and Paul Chong Hasang was born on 1794
Place of Birth South Korea
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, Seoul, South Korea
Feast Day September 20
Beatification By Pope Pius XI on June 6 1925
Canonization By Pope John Paul II on May 6 1984
Patron Saint of Korean Clergy

Saints Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Hasang and Companions History

In Korea, in the 18th century, the Joseon Dynasty was in power, and the Confucianism system of thought was prevalent at that time. There was a class relationship comprising of the nobility, scholars, commoners and slaves.

It is the scholars who were thirsty of knowledge, who first brought Christianity to Korea. This was after they imported into Korea Christian literature written in Chinese. However, the fire of the Catholic religion and Church was maintained and sustained by the common people who even without priests they kept congregating.

There was this literature obtained from the Jesuits in China that began the long journey of Christianity in Korea. These scholars studied it and shared the Good News with the commoners. The people slowly by slowly started to embrace Catholicism and after some few decades, there were about 4000 Catholics who had converted with no priest around.

Several requests were made to the Catholic Church leadership in China by Paul Chong Hasang together with others like Augustine Yu Chin-gil and Charles Cho Shin-chol to establish missions in Korea.

After a long time of serious and glaring danger to the missionaries, the Paris Foreign Mission Society managed to maneuver their way into Korea and established missions there.

This mission was led by Bishop Laurent-Marie-Joseph Imbert together with ten other French missionaries. They would hide during the day and when night came, they would walk on foot to various places where the faithful had gathered. They would administer sacraments and other spiritual needs.

The more the Catholic converts increased, the more the persecutions continued. The major persecutions that happened over a period of 100 years are the Ki-hae persecution in 1839, the Pyong-o persecution in 1846 and the Pyong-in persecution in 1866. More than 10,000 Christians were killed for their faith.

This love and passion for God led Andrew Kim Tae-gon to become the first Korean native to become a priest and serve the people of God.

Saint Andrew Kim Taegon

Saint Andrew Kim Taegon was born on August 21 1821 in Solmou, Dangjin, Korea and died on September 16 1846 in Seoul, South Korea. He was the first native Korean to be ordained as a Catholic priest.

Andrew Kim Taegon’s parents had converted to Christianity and therefore when he was 15 years old, he was baptized. He joined the seminary in Macau, China and also studied in Lolomboy, Bocaue, Bulacan, Philippines.

In 1844, he was ordained as a priest in China by the French bishop Jean-Joseph Jean-Baptiste Ferréol and returned to Korea to proclaim the Word of God.

Back in Korea, Christianity was heavily suppressed and therefore, the converts worshipped discretely to avoid persecution.

Andrew Kim Taegon was accused of espionage for foreigners and at the time of his execution he said, “attentively listen to me, the communication I have held with foreigners has been for my religion and my God, and for Him, I will die.”

Andrew Kim Taegon together with many other Christians was tortured, beheaded and died as martyrs on September 16 1846 on the Han River in Saenamteo, Hanseong, Joseon (now Seoul, South Korea).

Saint Paul Chong Hasang

Saint Paul Chong Hasang is a Korean Martyr born in 1795 in Korea and died as a martyr on September 22 1839 in Seoul, South Korea.

Paul Chong Hasang’s father was called Augustine Jeong Yak-Jong who also died as a martyr. His uncle was called John Jeong Yak-Yong and who wrote the first catechism of the Catholic Church in the Korean language.

Paul Chong Hasang was 7 years old when his father was martyred and they fled to the countryside to hide.

When he grew up he became an assistant to a government official. Through this opportunity, he was able to travel to Beijing where he persuaded the bishop of Beijing to establish a diocese in Korea around 1825.

A diocese was established in Korea and Bishop Laurent-Marie-Joseph Imbert and two priests were sent there to evangelize.

The Bishop taught Paul Chong Hasang theology and Latin and as he was just about to be ordained as a priest, Christian persecutions broke out and he was arrested. When he went in front of the judge he produced a written pronouncement that defended the Catholic Faith.

When the judge read it, he was in agreement with what was written but said that it was the king who forbids the religion and therefore, he too should renounce it.

Paul Chong Hasang replied that he was a Christian and would remain one till his death. He was tortured, tied to a cross on a cart and died as a martyr at the age of 45.

List of the Other 101 Martyrs of Korea Canonized in 1984

Saint Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Hasang and these other martyrs were beatified by Pope Pius XI on June 6 1925 and canonized by Pope John Paul on May 6 1984 at a Mass in Seoul, South Korea.

  1. Agatha Chon Kyonghyob
  2. Agatha Kim Agi
  3. Agatha Kwon Chin-i
  4. Agatha Yi
  5. Agatha Yi Kannan
  6. Agatha Yi Kyong-i
  7. Agatha Yi Sosa
  8. Agnes Kim Hyochu
  9. Alexis U Seyong
  10. Andrew Chong Hwagyong
  11. Anna Kim Changgum
  12. Anna Pak Agi
  13. Anthony Kim Songu
  14. Augustine Pak Chongwon
  15. Augustine Yi Kwanghon
  16. Augustine Yu Chinkil
  17. Barbara Cho Chungi
  18. Barbara Choe Yongi
  19. Barbara Han Agi
  20. Barbara Kim
  21. Barbara Ko Suni
  22. Barbara Kwon Hui
  23. Barbara Yi
  24. Barbara Yi Chonghui
  25. Bartholomew Chong Munho
  26. Benedicta Hyong Kyongnyon
  27. Catherina Chong Choryom
  28. Catherine Yi
  29. Cecilia Yu Sosa
  30. Charles Cho Shinchol
  31. Charles Hyon Songmun
  32. Columba Kim Hyoim
  33. Damian Nam Myonghyok
  34. Elizabeth Chong Chonghye
  35. Francis Choe Kyonghwan
  36. Ignatius Kim Chejun
  37. Jacques-Honoré Chastan
  38. Johannes Pak Hujae
  39. Johannes Yi Munu
  40. John Baptist Chon Changun
  41. John Baptist Nam Chongsam
  42. John Baptist Yi Kwang-nyol
  43. John Yi Yun-il
  44. Joseph Chang Chugi
  45. Joseph Chang Songjib
  46. Joseph Cho Yunho
  47. Joseph Han Wonso
  48. Joseph Im Chipek
  49. Kim Iulitta
  50. Laurent-Marie-Joseph Imbert
  51. Lawrence Han Ihyong
  52. Louis Beaulieu
  53. Lucas Hwang Soktu
  54. Lucia Kim Kopchu
  55. Lucia Kim Nusia
  56. Lucia Pak Huisun
  57. Magdalena Cho
  58. Magdalena Han Yongi
  59. Magdalena Ho Kyeim
  60. Magdalena Kim Obi
  61. Magdalena Pak Pongson
  62. Magdalena Son Sobyok
  63. Magdalena Yi Yongdok
  64. Magdalena Yi Yonghui
  65. Maria Pak Kunagi
  66. Maria Won Kwiim
  67. Maria Yi Indok
  68. Maria Yi Yonhui
  69. Marie-Nicolas-Antoine Daveluy
  70. Mark Chong Uibae
  71. Martha Kim Songim
  72. Martin-Luc Huin
  73. Paul Ho Hyob
  74. Paul Hong Yongju
  75. Perpetua Hong Kimju
  76. Peter Cho Hwaso
  77. Peter Choe Changhub
  78. Peter Choe Hyong
  79. Peter Chong Wonji
  80. Peter Hong Pyongju
  81. Peter Kwon Tugin
  82. Peter Nam Kyongmun
  83. Peter Son Sonji
  84. Peter Yi Hoyong
  85. Peter Yi Myongso
  86. Peter Yu Chongnyul
  87. Peter Yu Tae-chol
  88. Pierre Aumaitre
  89. Pierre-Henri Dorie
  90. Pierre-Philibert Maubant
  91. Protasius Chong Kukbo
  92. Rosa Kim Nosa
  93. Sebastian Nam Igwan
  94. Siméon-François Berneux
  95. Simon-Marie-Just Ranfer de Bretenières
  96. Stephen Min Kuk-ka
  97. Susanna U Surim
  98. Teresa Kim
  99. Teresa Kim Imi
  100. Teresa Yi Maeim
  101. Thomas Son Chasuhn

Feast Day

We celebrate the feast day of Saints Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Hasang and Companions on September 20 every year in the Catholic Church.

Today’s Catholic Quote:

“Attentively listen to me, the communication I have held with foreigners has been for my religion and my God, and for Him, I will die.”

Saint Andrew Kim Taegon

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