"We have received baptism, entrance into the Church, and the honor of being called Christians. Yet what good will this do us if we are Christians in name only and not in fact?" (Saint Andrew Kim Taegon)
Long a closed country, the scholars of Korea were eager to learn about the world, and after the discovery of some Christian books obtained from Korea’s embassy to the Chinese capital, developed an interest in the theology and philosophy of the faith. Ni-seung-houn, a Korean native, traveled to Beijing in 1784 to study Catholicism and was baptized with the new name, Peter Ri. Upon returning to Korea, he converted many, but several years later, the martyrdom of Christians began. In 1791, the government declared that Christians were “foreign traitors,” and two of Peter Ri’s recent converts were martyred: Paul Youn and Jacques Kuen.
Only three decades later, the Prefecture Apostolic of Korea was established by Pope Leo XII, after he received a letter smuggled out of Korea by faithful Catholics. In 1836, Monsignor Lawrence Imbert smuggled himself into Korea to continue the work of the Lord. Soon after, others arrived, and they worked until 1839, when a full persecution started. First, three European priests were martyred, followed by native Korean Catholics. This did not stop the training and faith of the congregations established, however. Young Korean candidates for the priesthood were sent to Macao for ordination, a both risky and difficult process.
“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. Become Christians if you wish to be happy after death, because God has eternal chastisements in store for those who have refused to know Him.”
"My dear brothers and sisters, know this: Our Lord Jesus Christ upon descending into the world took innumerable pains upon and constituted the holy Church through his own passion and increases it through the passion of its faithful....
Now, however, some fifty or sixty years since the holy Church entered into our Korea, the faithful suffer persecutions again. Even today persecution rages, so that many of our friends of the same faith, among whom I am myself, have been thrown into prison. just as you also remain in the midst of persecution. Since we have formed one body, how can we not be saddened in our innermost hearts? How can we not experience the pain of separation in our human faculties?
However, as Scripture says, God cares for the least hair of our heads, and indeed he cares with his omniscience; therefore, how can persecution be considered as anything other than the command of God, or his prize, or precisely his punishment?...
We are twenty here, and thanks be to God all are still well. If anyone is killed, I beg you not to forget his family. I have many more things to say, but how can I express them with pen and paper? I make an end to this letter. Since we are now close to the struggle, I pray you to walk in faith, so that when you have finally entered into Heaven, we may greet one another. I leave you my kiss of love.”
Hasang replied, “I have told you that I am a Christian, and will be one until my death.”
After this Hasang endured a series of tortures but with remarkable serenity. He was thereafter bound to a cross on a cart and went to his death, at the age of 45, with extraordinary good cheer.
The 103 Martyrs of Korea:
Agatha Chon Kyonghyob
Agatha Kwon Chini
Agatha Yi Kannan
Agatha Yi Kyong-i
Agatha Yi Sosa
Andrew Kim Taegon
Paul Chong Hasang
Agnes Kim Hyoju
Alex U Seyong
Andrew-Chong Kwagyong (catechist)
Anna Pak A-gi
Anna Pak Agi
Anthony Daveluy (bishop)
Anthony Kim Son-u
Augustine Pak Chong-won
Augustine Yi Chin-gil
Augustine Yi Kwang-hon
Barbara Ch'oe Yong-i
Barbara Cho Chung-i
Barbara Han Agi
Barbara Ko Suni
Barbara Kwon Hui
Barbara Yi Chong-hui
Bartholomew Chong Munho
Benedicta Hyon Kyongnyon
Catherine Chong Ch'oryom
Charles Cho Shin-ch'ol
Charles Hyon Songmun
Columba Kim Hyo-im
Damianus Nam Myong-hyog (catechist)
Damien Nam Myong-hyok
Elisabeth Chong Chong-hye (virgin)
Francis Ch'oe Hyong-hwan
Ignatius Kim Chejun (catechist)
Jacob Chastan (priest)
John Baptist Chong Chang-un (catechist)
John Baptist Nam Chongsam
John Baptist Yi Kwangnyol (catechist)
John Nam Chong-sam
John Yi Kwong-hai
John Yi Munu
John Yi Yunil (catechist)
Joseph Chang Chugi (priest)
Joseph Chang Songjib
Joseph Cho Yunho
Joseph Im Ch'ibaeg
Joseph Peter Han Wonso (catechist)
Juliet Kim (virgin)
Justin de Bretenières (priest)
Lawrence Han Ihyong (catechist)
Lawrence Imbert (bishop)
Lucia Park Huisun
Ludovicus Beaulieu (priest)
Luke Hwang Soktu
Magalena Ho Kye-im
Magdalene Han Yong-i
Magdalene Kim Obi
Magdalene Pak Pongson (widow)
Magdalene Son Sobyog
Magdalene Yi Yong-hui
Magdalene Yi Yongdog
Maria Park K'unagi
Maria Won Kwi-im (virgin)
Maria Yi Indog
Maria Yi Yonhui
Mark Chong Uibae (catechist)
Martin Luke Huin (priest)
Mary Yi Yon-hui
Paul Hong Yongju (catechist)
Perpetua Hong Kumju (widow)
Peter Aumaitre (priest)
Peter Ch'oe Ch'ang-hub (catechist)
Peter Ch'oe Hyong (catechist)
Peter Cho Kwaso
Peter Chong Wonji
Peter Henricus Dorie (priest)
Peter Hong Pyongju
Peter Kwon Tugin
Peter Maubant (priest MEP)
Peter Nam Kyongmun (catechist)
Peter Son Sonji (catechist)
Peter Y Taech'ol
Peter Yi Hoyong
Peter Yi Myongs
Peter Yu Chongyul (catechist)
Peter Yu Tae-Chol
Protasius Chong Kurbo
Rosa Kim (widow)
Simon Berneux (bishop)
Stephen Min Kukka (catechist)
Susanna U Surim
Teresa Kim Imi
Teresa Yi Mae-im
Thomas Son Chason
Inspired by the origins and spiritual history of the Holy Rosary, we continue our meditation on the psalms, one each day, in order, for 150 days.
Psalm: Psalm 148: Hymn of All Creation to the Almighty Creator
1 Praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD from the heavens,
praise him in the heights above.
2 Praise him, all his angels,
praise him, all his heavenly hosts.
3 Praise him, sun and moon,
praise him, all you shining stars.
4 Praise him, you highest heavens
and you waters above the skies.
5 Let them praise the name of the LORD,
for he commanded and they were created.
6 He set them in place for ever and ever;
he gave a decree that will never pass away.
7 Praise the LORD from the earth,
you great sea creatures and all ocean depths,
8 lightning and hail, snow and clouds,
stormy winds that do his bidding,
9 you mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars,
10 wild animals and all cattle,
small creatures and flying birds,
11 kings of the earth and all nations,
you princes and all rulers on earth,
12 young men and maidens,
old men and children.
13 Let them praise the name of the LORD,
for his name alone is exalted;
his splendor is above the earth and the heavens.
14 He has raised up for his people a horn,
the praise of all his saints,
of Israel, the people close to his heart.
Praise the LORD.
Day 262 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Conviction and Courage in living our Faith.
Requested Intentions: Restoration of a relationship (H); For successful employment (I); For a daughter’s successful relationship (M); For a relationship sanctified by God (M); For health of father; For canonization of Pope John Paul II (A); For the conversion of a family (L); For the ill (A); For the health of a family (I); For a father’s successful surgery and recovery (G); For those who are ill, and their caretakers (D); For the safety of a sister who is traveling (A); Recovery of mother with cancer (R); Successful acquisition of a visa (T); Restoration of a marriage (A); For employment and health of mother (G); Successful employment (M); Restoration of a family, End to brother's addiction, Successful marriage (R); Employment (I); Successful recovery of a mother; for all stroke victims (D); Successful return to the faith (A); Emotional, physical, and financial healing (D); Diagnosis and recovery (A); For a successful relationship (J); Those suffering from depression (J); Successful adoption (S); Healing of a father battling cancer (S).
Psalm: Psalm 148: Hymn of All Creation to the Almighty Creator
Why pray the Rosary every day for a year?
Each time the Blessed Virgin has appeared-- whether it be to Saint Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes; to Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco at Fatima; or to Mariette Beco at Banneux-- she has asserted the importance, saving grace, and power of praying the Holy Rosary on a daily basis. Based upon her words, the Rosary is penance and conversion for sinners, a pathway to peace, an end to war, and a powerful act of faith in Jesus Christ. Pope Paul VI presented the Rosary as a powerful means to reach Christ "not merely with Mary but indeed, insofar as this is possible to us, in the same way as Mary, who is certainly the one who thought about Him more than anyone else has ever done."
To show us how this is done, perhaps no one has been more eloquent than the great Cardinal Newman, who wrote: "The great power of the Rosary consists in the fact that it translates the Creed into Prayer. Of course, the Creed is already in a certain sense a prayer and a great act of homage towards God, but the Rosary brings us to meditate again on the great truth of His life and death, and brings this truth close to our hearts. Even Christians, although they know God, usually fear rather than love Him. The strength of the Rosary lies in the particular manner in which it considers these mysteries, since all our thinking about Christ is intertwined with the thought of His Mother, in the relations between Mother and Son; the Holy Family is presented to us, the home in which God lived His infinite love."
As Mary said at Fatima, "Jesus wants to use you to make Me known and loved. He wishes to establish the devotion to My Immaculate Heart throughout the world. I promise salvation to whoever embraces it; these souls will be dear to God, like flowers put by Me to adorn his throne."