Saints of the Day Saints and biographies from the Catholic calendar. This site is copyright © 2017 Universalis Publishing Limited. Universalis Publishing Ltd http://universalis.com/atomabout.xml http://universalis.com/static/bin/icon80.png 2017-09-22T19:00:00Z http://universalis.com/atomabout.xml#20170920.0 2017-09-19T19:00:00Z 2017-09-21T12:15:40Z St Andrew Kim Taegǒn, Paul Chong Hasang, and companions
Celebrated: 20 Sep (worldwide)
For centuries, Korea was closed to all outside influences, and all contact with foreigners was forbidden. No missionaries went there. Nevertheless, a number of laymen sought to find out all that they could about the outside world, through the annual embassy to Peking. Some books about Christianity fell into their hands, and they were converted. Because of the secrecy involved, it is impossible to date the origin of Christianity in Korea with any precision: it may have started in the early 17th century, but the first known baptism is that of Ni-Seoung-Houn, who was baptized under the name of Peter when he visited Peking in 1784.
The first known martyrs are Paul Youn and James Kouen, who in 1791 refused to offer sacrifice on the death of their relatives. Over the next century, over ten thousand Korean Christians were executed, with great cruelty; and many others perished.
For most of this period, the church in Korea had no priests and was an entirely lay phenomenon. The first priest, a Frenchman, entered the country in 1836 and was beheaded three years later. Andrew Kim Taegǒn, the first Korean priest, secretly trained in Macao, entered Korea in 1845 and was executed in 1846, together with his father. A lay apostle, St Paul Chong Hasang, and many others perished at the same time. A further major persecution occurred in 1866.
In all, 103 of the Korean martyrs are celebrated today: they are mostly lay men and women: some married, some not; some old, some young, some even children.
“The Korean Church is unique because it was founded entirely by laypeople. This fledgling Church, so young and yet so strong in faith, withstood wave after wave of fierce persecution. Thus, in less than a century, it could boast of 10,000 martyrs. The death of these many martyrs became the leaven of the Church and led to today’s splendid flowering of the Church in Korea. Even today their undying spirit sustains the Christians of the Church of Silence in the north of this tragically divided land.” – Pope John Paul II at the canonization of the Korean Martyrs, May 6, 1984.
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℟. God looks on, his angels look on, Christ, too, looks on as we struggle and strive in the contest of faith.* What great dignity and glory are ours, what happiness to join battle in the presence of God, and to be crowned by Christ, the Judge!
℣. Let us be armed with a great determination and be prepared to face the combat, pure in heart, sound in faith, and full of courage.* What great dignity and glory are ours, what happiness to join battle in the presence of God, and to be crowned by Christ, the Judge!
http://universalis.com/atomabout.xml#20170921.0 2017-09-20T19:00:00Z 2017-09-21T12:15:40Z St Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist
Celebrated: 21 Sep (worldwide)
He was born in Capernaum, and was working as a tax-collector when Jesus called him. He wrote his gospel in Aramaic, and is said to have preached in the East.
See the article in the Catholic Encyclopaedia.
http://universalis.com/atomabout.xml#20170922.0 2017-09-21T19:00:00Z 2017-09-21T19:00:00Z St Maurice and the Theban Legion (d. 287)
Celebrated: 22 Sep (Southern Africa)
Maurice (a name which means ‘black’) was a native of Thebes in Lower Egypt. When he was young, he was conscripted into the Roman army together with many youths of his area, and sent, for military service, to Switzerland. Before battle, the emperor ordered his soldiers to offer sacrifice to the Roman gods but the Theban Legion, headed by Maurice, refused. They remained steadfast even after being asked several times to apostatize, in loyalty to the emperor. Their allegiance to Christ earned them the crown of martyrdom in the year 287.