St. Andrew Kim Taegon and St. Paul Chong Hasang
Feast Day: September 20
Born: (around) 1800 :: Died: 1846
St. Andrew Kim Taegon was born in Korea and came from a very noble family.
Christianity reached Korea in the seventeenth century and was brought there by lay people. The believers became strong in their faith by reading and listening to the Word of God and began to grow in number.
Andrew's parents who were earlier non-Christians converted and became Christians. Andrew was baptized when he was 15 years old and soon after, his father died as a martyr for the faith.
Missionary priests came from France and the Korean people began to receive the sacraments of the Church. Andrew traveled about 1,300 miles to Macao, which had the nearest seminary so he could study to become a priest.
The Government did not want Christianity to spread and began to trouble and torture the Christians.
A total of 113 Koreans & missionaries were killed between 1839 and 1867. St. Andrew was the first Korean to become a priest and first priest to die for the faith in Korea just a year after his ordination. That made him the leader of the Martyrs of Korea.
St. Paul Chong Hasang another Korean Catholic was a layperson and Catechist who also courageously died for the love for Christ.
These two martyrs gloriously represent the 113 Catholics who died for their faith in Korea. They were proclaimed saints by Pope John Paul II during his visit to Korea in 1984.
Today the Church is growing fast in Korea. The gift of faith is being received because of the sacrifice of the martyrs who showed them the way.
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