About Today for Wednesday in the 1st week of Advent

Korean martyrs By Vatican [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

September 20

Saints Andrew Kim Tae-gŏn, Priest, Paul Chŏng Ha-sang and Companions, Martyrs

Memorial

Today the Church honors the Korean martyrs who gave their lives for the Kingdom of God. In 1784, Korean Yi Sung-hun was baptized in China and returned to found the first Christian community. Bibles were sent in from China and the young Church grew. Between 1791 and 1866, waves of persecutions occurred, killing over 10,000 Christians. Saints Andrew Kim and Paul Chong were instrumental in leading the Church through this turbulent time. St. Andrew Kim was the first native priest of Korea, having had Christian parents. He was beheaded in 1846.

St. Paul Chong was a lay leader who appealed before the government and because of his pleas, Pope Gregory X sent more priests to Korea. He was martyred in 1839. In 2007, His Excellency Mr. Roh Moo-hyum, President of the Republic of Korea, visited the Vatican. His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI welcomed the visit which, “…served to strengthen the good relations that exist between your country and the Holy See.” Today there are upwards of four million Catholics in the Republic of Korea (South), with Christians in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North) still underground. [1][2][3][4]

Written by Sarah Ciotti
Reviewed by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, STD

[1] Benedict XVI, Letter to His Excellency Mr. Roh Moo-hyun President of the Republic of Korea, Feb 15, 2007.
[2] John Paul II, Homily, May 6, 1984
[3] Catholic News Agency, St’s Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Ha, September 2012.
[4] The World Factbook 2012, Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency, 2012.

The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. Readings and Old and New Testament Canticles (except the Gospel Canticles) are from the New American Bible © 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C.. Used with permission. All rights reserved. The DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media follows the liturgical calendar for the United States. The 1970 edition of the New American Bible as published in the Liturgy of the Hours is approved for use only in the United States. DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2021 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved.

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