Tag Archives: St. Paul Chong Ha-Sang

Saint’s Andrew Kim Tae-gŏn, Priest, and Paul Chŏng Ha-sang , and Companions, Martyrs

Christ in Heaven with Four Saints and a Donor

Domenico Ghirlandaio

c 1492
Tempera on wood, 308 x 199 cm
Pinacoteca Comunale, Volterra


September 20 – Memorial of Saint Andrew Kim Taegon, priest and martyr, and Saint Paul Chong Hasang, catechist and martyr, and their companions, martyrs

Saints Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Hasang, and Companions’ Story

The first native Korean priest, Andrew Kim Taegon was the son of Christian converts. Following his baptism at the age of 15, Andrew traveled 1,300 miles to the seminary in Macao, China. After six years, he managed to return to his country through Manchuria. That same year he crossed the Yellow Sea to Shanghai and was ordained a priest. Back home again, he was assigned to arrange for more missionaries to enter by a water route that would elude the border patrol. He was arrested, tortured, and finally beheaded at the Han River near Seoul, the capital.

Andrew’s father Ignatius Kim, was martyred during the persecution of 1839, and was beatified in 1925. Paul Chong Hasang, a lay apostle and married man, also died in 1839 at age 45.

Among the other martyrs in 1839 was Columba Kim, an unmarried woman of 26. She was put in prison, pierced with hot tools and seared with burning coals. She and her sister Agnes were disrobed and kept for two days in a cell with condemned criminals, but were not molested. After Columba complained about the indignity, no more women were subjected to it. The two were beheaded. Peter Ryou, a boy of 13, had his flesh so badly torn that he could pull off pieces and throw them at the judges. He was killed by strangulation. Protase Chong, a 41-year-old nobleman, apostatized under torture and was freed. Later he came back, confessed his faith and was tortured to death.

Christianity came to Korea during the Japanese invasion in 1592 when some Koreans were baptized, probably by Christian Japanese soldiers. Evangelization was difficult because Korea refused all contact with the outside world except for taking taxes to Beijing annually. On one of these occasions, around 1777, Christian literature obtained from Jesuits in China led educated Korean Christians to study. A home Church began. When a Chinese priest managed to enter secretly a dozen years later, he found 4,000 Catholics, none of whom had ever seen a priest. Seven years later there were 10,000 Catholics. Religious freedom came to Korea in 1883.

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


Reflection

We marvel at the fact that the Korean Church was strictly a lay Church for a dozen years after its birth. How did the people survive without the Eucharist? It is no belittling of this and other sacraments to realize that there must be a living faith before there can be a truly beneficial celebration of the Eucharist. The sacraments are signs of God’s initiative and response to faith already present. The sacraments increase grace and faith, but only if there is something ready to be increased.


franciscanmedia.org

St. Andrew Kim Taegon and St. Paul Chong Hasang and their companions are patrons of Korean clergy.


To: All

Catholic Culture

Ordinary Time: September 20th

Memorial of St. Andrew Kim, priest and martyr, St. Paul Chong, martyr, and Companions, martyrs

MASS READINGS

September 20, 2019 (Readings on USCCB website)

COLLECT PRAYER

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 Kim 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. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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Old Calendar: St. Eustace and His Companions, martyrs

During the 17th century the Christian faith was brought to Korea through the zeal of lay persons. From the very beginning these Christians suffered terrible persecutions and many suffered martyrdom during the 19th century. Today’s feast honors a group of 103 martyrs. Notable of these were Andrew Kim Taegon, the first Korean priest, and the lay apostle, Paul Chong Hasang. Also among the Korean martyrs were three bishops and seven priests, but for the most part they were heroic laity, men and women, married and single of all ages. They were canonized by Pope John Paul II on May 6, 1984.

Before the reform of the General Roman Calendar today was the feast of St. Eustace and His Companions. He was a martyr whose cult was introduced at Rome in the early Middle Ages.


St. Andrew Kim Taegon and St. Paul Chong Hasang and their companions
This first native Korean priest was the son of Korean converts. His father, Ignatius Kim, was martyred during the persecution of 1839 and was beatified in 1925. After baptism at the age of fifteen, Andrew traveled thirteen hundred miles to the seminary in Macao, China. After six years he managed to return to his country through Manchuria. That same year he crossed the Yellow Sea to Shanghai and was ordained a priest. Back home again, he was assigned to arrange for more missionaries to enter by a water route that would elude the border patrol. He was arrested, tortured and finally beheaded at the Han River near Seoul, the capital. Paul Chong Hasang was a lay apostle and a married man, aged forty-five. Christianity came to Korea during the Japanese invasion in 1592 when some Koreans were baptized, probably by Christian Japanese soldiers. Evangelization was difficult because Korea refused all contact with the outside world except for an annual journey to Beijing to pay taxes. On one of these occasions, around 1777, Christian literature obtained from Jesuits in China led educated Korean Christians to study. A home church began. When a Chinese priest managed to enter secretly a dozen years later, he found four thousand Catholics, none of whom had ever seen a priest. Seven years later there were ten thousand Catholics. Religious freedom came in 1883.

When Pope John Paul II visited Korea in 1984, he canonized Andrew, Paul, ninety-eight Koreans and three French missionaries who had been martyred between 1839 and 1867. Among them were bishops and priests, but for the most part they were laypersons: forty-seven women, forty-five men.

Among the martyrs in 1839 was Columba Kim, an unmarried woman of twenty-six. She was put in prison, pierced with hot awls and seared with burning coals. She and her sister Agnes were disrobed and kept for two days in a cell with condemned criminals, but were not molested. After Columba complained about the indignity, no more women were subjected to it. The two were beheaded. A boy of thirteen, Peter Ryou, had his flesh so badly torn that he could pull off pieces and throw them at the judges. He was killed by strangulation. Protase Chong, a forty-one-year-old noble, apostatized under torture and was freed. Later he came back, confessed his faith and was tortured to death.

Today there are approximately four million Catholics in Korea.

Excerpted from the Saint of the Day, Leonard Foley, O.F.M.

Patron: Korean clergy.

Symbols: Palm frond (for martyrdom); martyr’s crown.

Things to Do:

  • Study the emphasis of the role of the laity in the Church especially in this century, and decide on things you can do as a layperson to help your parish community.
  • Read Pope John Paul II’s homily at the canonization of the 103 Korean Martyrs, read about some of the other Korean martyrs.

St. Eustace and His Companions
The charming legend of Saint Eustace tells how a Roman general named Placidus was once out hunting. He pursued a noble stag, which suddenly turned and approached him. Between the stag’s antlers Placidus saw a crucifix. A voice was calling him by name.

The hunter himself had been caught. The vision converted Placidus. He changed his name to Eustace, and gave away much of his money.

The saint still felt able to serve the Roman emperor. Taking up his command again, he led the legions to great victories. By this time his family had become Christian too, and all four of them — Eustace, his wife Theopista, and his sons Agapetus and Theopestus — refused to make sacrifices to pagan gods in the celebrations following his own victories.

All four were accordingly put to death in a bizarre fashion. They were taken to the colosseum in Rome, encased in a bronze bull, and roasted to death.

Although these events are supposed to have taken place around the year 118, no account of Saint Eustace and his family has been found prior to the seventh century. Yet he became one of the most popular saints in the middle ages, celebrated in prose and poetry as well as in art and popular devotion. Eustace is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, and he is venerated as the patron of hunters.

Excerpted from the A Calendar of Saints by James Bentley

Patron: against fire; difficult situations; firefighters; hunters; Madrid; torture victims; family troubles.

Symbols: crucifix; stag; oven; white stag on a rock, with a crucifix between antlers; boar spear; hunter’s horn; lion; Roman armour; bear, wolf or dog; wicker basket; brazen bull with a fire under it.


September 20, 2019 – Love Is Not Snobbish

Memorial of Saints Andrew Kim Tae-gon, Priest, and Paul Chong Ha-sang, and Companions, Martyrs

Father David Daly, LC

Luke 8:1-3

Jesus journeyed from one town and village to another, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. Accompanying him were the Twelve and some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, Susanna, and many others who provided for them out of their resources.

Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, I believe that you came into this world to redeem sinners. I hope in you and in your power to transform my soul, by your grace, from sinfulness to holiness. Lord, I love you and offer you the longings of my heart to put you truly first in my life. I want to love you with all my mind, heart, soul and strength.

Petition: Jesus, teach me to live universal charity.

  1. “Accompanying Him Were the Twelve” In this rather commonplace phrase from the Gospel, we perceive Jesus’ universal charity. He chose his twelve apostles from many different backgrounds. Most of them probably would not have been friends were it not for Christ. Matthew was a tax collector; Peter, James and John, fisherman. Judas was more “sophisticated” than the rest. Yet, Jesus called them all to be his closest collaborators. As a result, they would come to cooperate with and appreciate each other. When Christ is at the center of any relationship, differences can not only be overcome, they can become points of strength as well.
  1. Mary, Called Magdalene: Not only did he choose men to be his close collaborators, but as the Gospel says there were also “women who provided for him out of their resources.” Jesus assigned them different roles, but he saved and transformed their lives all the same. We think of Mary Magdalene as a close friend of Christ, but we should also remember that he transformed her, with the power of God’s grace, by expelling seven demons from her.
  1. The Wife of Herod’s Steward: Another of the women following Jesus was “Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward.” It is amazing to realize that the Gospel took root even in the midst of the fiefdom of Herod, a man who had absolutely no esteem for our Lord. We, then, should never ‘write someone off.’ Prayer, sacrifice, and charity can be effective means for the worst sinner’s conversion. Jesus’ message was capable of inspiring followers in all societal conditions and groupings. Similarly, we are called to build the Kingdom at all levels of our secularized world.

Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus Christ, you give us the example of unconditional love for each and every person. You do not care what our background is or how many sins we have committed. Your mercy is infinite and everlasting! Thank you for your love. I beg you to teach me to love without limits.

Resolution: I promise to practice universal charity today by being kind to someone with whom I do not ordinarily associate.

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Homily of the Day

Today’s first reading and gospel show us how to live as followers of Jesus Christ where money is concerned. The first reading warns us about love of money. It does not warn us against money and wealth but it is the love of it. In itself, money is neither good nor bad; but it is our addiction to it that sets us off on a perilous journey. When we place money at the center of our lives, we let it become our god. The gospel, on the other hand, tells us of how some women disciples used their financial resources to fund the mission of Jesus. For these women, the purpose of having money is to further the work of Jesus.

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