Tag Archives: St Andrew Kim

Sts. Andrew Kim Tae-gon, Paul Chong Ha-sang and Companions

It seems to me that we need the intercession these days: Sts. Andrew Kim Tae-gon, Paul Chong Ha-sang & Companions of Korea, pray for us!

The crisis on the Korean peninsula is quite something to comprehend with the radical potential of human tragedy in the hands of government leaders in various sectors. All the more that we need help from Divine Providence.

Sts. Andrew Kim Tae-gŏn, Paul Chŏng Ha-sang, and Companions

sts-andrew-kim-and-companionsSt. Andrew Kim was the first native Korean priest and the son of Korean converts. His father, Ignatius Kim, was martyred during the persecution of 1839 and beatified in 1925. After Baptism at the age of 15, Andrew traveled 1,300 miles to seminary in Macao, China. After six years of study, he returned to Korea and was ordained a priest. He was eventually arrested, tortured and beheaded near Seoul. 

Paul Chong Hasang, 45, was a lay man and married, also martyred.

Pope John Paul II canonized Kim and the companions in 1984 when he visited Korea. The 98 Koreans and three French missionaries were martyred between 1839 and 1867. Among them were bishops and priests, but for the most part they were lay persons: 47 women, 45 men.

Sts. Andrew Kim Tae-gŏn, Paul Chŏng Ha-sang, and Companions, pray for us!

Saints Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Hasang and companions

The Church remembers the martyrdom of the Korean martyrs, more than 103 of them. The names of Andrew Kim Taegon and Paul Chong Hasang are the hallmarks for this 19th century Christian witness. I can’t fathom the depth of love and hope these martyrs must have had in facing trials.

With the Church we pray,

O God, who have been pleased to increase your adopted children in all the world, and who made the blood of the Martyrs Saint Andrew Tae-gon and his companions a most fruitful seed of Christians, grant that we may be defended by their help and profit always from their example.

My 2011 blog post on today’s feast gives more information.

At Mass today at the Monastery of the Glorious Cross (Branford, CT), Father David Borino remembered the intentions of Sister Maria Kim, OSB, a nun of this monastery. In addition, I’d like to remember in prayer the Benedictine monks of Saints Maurus and Placidus Abbey, (Waegwan, Korea), St Paul’s Abbey (Newton, NJ), Archbishop Andrew Yeom Soo-jung of Seoul, Nicholas Cardinal Cheong Jin-Suk (archbishop emeritus of Seoul) and the Korean community in Queens, especially my friends Claire and Theresa. May the Divine Majesty richly bless these servants of God.

Saints Andrew Kim Taegon and Paul Chong Hasang and companions

St Andrew Kim Taegon.jpgToday is the feast of the 19th century Saints Andrew Kim and Paul Hasang and their 103 companions. Kim is the first Korean born Catholic priest! He also followed his father as a martyr for the faith. Andrew was beheaded after being tortured in 1846. These saints were raised to the altars by Pope John Paul II in 1984.

Why ought we be concerned about this today? One reason is that these witnesses to the Gospel of Jesus Christ were mostly lay people. The faith in Korea is a Catholic faith that has its roots not primarily in the work of clergy but by the work of the laity. This is not a feast that proclaims the greatness of the laity over the clergy but it is a feast that speaks to the faithful and fruitful work of the Holy Spirit in priesthood of the all the baptized to make disciples of all nations. Surely, the ministerial priesthood was utilized in discrete ways because of the anti-Catholic sentiment of this geographic region. How else would the sacraments of Baptism and Eucharist be given? What the Church in her wisdom following the guidance of the Spirit has given us are models of holiness in serving the Lord in fullest sense possible: the correspondence of the ordained and lay priesthood.

Father Scott Hurd posted a brief piece on today’s feast.
Let us pray for the Church in Korea!

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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