Sts. Andrew Kim Tae Gon and Paul Chong Ha Song

Today is the feast of 103 Korean Martyrs.  Sts. Andrew Kim Tae Gon and Paul Chong Ha Song are the most famous among them.  Sending all my love back to the Land of the Morning Calm, and my people in South Korea.

The arrival of Christianity to Korea came by a very unusual route.

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. {from Catholic Culture}

Hello, inspiring.  No fair, laity, leaving the evangelization to the frocked ones.

St. Andrew Kim Taegon

St. Andrew Kim was the first native-born Korean priest, and a martyr along with several family members.  Even up to the hour of his death, he encouraged people to turn to Christ.

This is my last hour of life, listen to me attentively: if I have held communication with foreigners, it has been for my religion and for my God. It is for Him that I die. My immortal life is on the point of beginning.”