Archive for the ‘St. Paul Chong Hasang’ Tag

Feast of St. Franciscus Ch’oe Kyong-Hwan, St. Lawrence Mary Joseph Imbert and His Companions, and Sts. Paul Chong Hasang, Cecilia Yu Sosa, and Jung Hye (September 12)   1 comment

Above:  Korea, 1836

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT FRANCISCUS CH’OE KYONG-HWAN (1805-SEPTEMBER 12, 1839)

Korean Roman Catholic Catechist and Martyr, 1839

Also known as Choe Gyeong-Hwan and Peuranchiseuko

His feast day = September 12

imprisoned with

SAINT LAWRENCE MARY JOSEPH IMBERT (MARCH 26, 1796-SEPTEMBER 21, 1839)

French Roman Catholic Priest, Missionary to Korea, and Martyr

Also known as Saint Laurent Marie Joseph Imbert and Saint Laurent-Joseph-Marius Imbert

His feast transferred from September 21

Former feast day = June 10

worked with

SAINT PIERRE PHILIBERT MAUBANT (SEPTEMBER 20, 1803-SEPTEMBER 21, 1839)

and

SAINT JACQUES HONORÉ CHASTÁN (OCTOBER 7, 1803-SEPTEMBER 21, 1839)

French Roman Catholic Priests, Missionaries to Korea, and Martyrs, 1839

Their feasts transferred from September 21

worked with

SAINT PAUL CHONG HASANG (1795-SEPTEMBER 22, 1839)

Korean Roman Catholic Seminarian and Martyr, 1839

His feast transferred from September 20

son of

SAINT CECILIA YU SOSA (DIED IN NOVEMBER 1839)

Korean Roman Catholic Martyr, 1839

Her feast transferred from September 20

mother of

SAINT JUNG HYE (DIED IN DECEMBER 1839)

Korean Roman Catholic Martyr, 1839

Her feast transferred from September 20

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September 20 = Feast of the Martyrs of Korea

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One of my goals in renovating this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, is to emphasize relationships and influences.  The chain of saints I uncovered when I began to take notes on St. Franciscus Ch’oe Kyong-Hwan fulfills that purpose.

Whenever government officials, such as monarchs–in this case, usually Queen Sunwon, the regent of the young King Yi Hwan (reigned 1834-1849) of Korea–persecute Christianity, they do so out of, among other factors, fear.  They perceive the faith and its adherents as serious threats.  When one considers the case of Korea in the 1800s, the foreign origin of Christianity, one must conclude that nativism, xenophobia, and fear of Western imperialism were factors in Korean politics.  One must also acknowledge that national security became an excuse for the morally inexcusable, as national security frequently has, does, and will continue to do.

St. Franciscus Ch’oe Kyong-Hwan came from a Catholic family.  When our saint’s grandfather had converted, so had the family.  St. Franciscus, born in Taraekhol, Hongjugan, Ch’ungchon’ong, Korea, in 1805, initially belonged to a wealthy family.  During one of the occasional persecutions, during which the royal government executed many priests and expelled the rest, the family relocated to Seoul.  Then they ran afoul of the law and lost the majority of their wealth.  Subsequently the family moved to a village of Mount Suri and became tobacco farmers, as well as the nucleus of a Catholic community.

St. Franciscus, a married man and a father, was a catechist.  He taught the faith in his name at night, during good times and dangerous times.  In 1836 St. Pierre Philibert Maubant, a priest and missionary from the Society of Foreign Missions of Paris, selected Thomas, son of St. Franciscus, to travel to Macao, to study for the priesthood.  The family was proud.

In 1839, when official persecution resumed, St. Franciscus remained faithful.  He raised money to help prisoners, buried martyrs, buried all the sacred objects in the village (to prevent their desecration), and continued to work as a catechist.  At night, on July 31, 1839, authorities arrested the Catholic villages for being Christians and forcibly marched them to Seoul.  St. Franciscus, in prison, refused to renounce Christianity, therefore suffered tortures and beatings.  He found the time and will to catechize fellow prisoners, though.  His wife, Maria, witnessed his death via beatings on September 12, 1839.  She renounced the faith before returning to it and becoming a martyr via beheading.

Thomas, ordained a priest in 1849, served as a missionary in remote Korean villages.

St. Franciscus was in prison with St. Lawrence Mary Joseph Imbert.

St. Lawrence, born in Margane, France, on March 26, 1796, left his farming family to become a priest and a missionary.  He, ordained a priest in 1819, joined the Society of Foreign Missions of Paris, which sent him to China in 1820.  There, from April 1821 to January 1822, our saint taught at the General College, Penang.  Two years in Vietnam followed before St. Lawrence returned to China.  He, based in Szechuan province in 1824-1836, founded a seminary in Moupin.  On April 26, 1836, St. Lawrence became the Vicar Apostolic of Korea and the Titular Bishop of Capsa.  He spent the rest of his life in Korea.

St. Pierre Philibert Maubant was a priest in Korea.  He, born in Vassy, Calvados, France, on September 20, 1803, became a priest in 1829.  The Society of Foreign Missions of Paris assigned him to Korea; he arrived on January 12, 1836.

Saint Jacques Honoré Chastán was another priest in Korea.  He, born in Marcoux, Basses-Alpes, France, on October 7, 1803, became a priest in 1826.  The Society of Foreign Missions of Paris assigned him to Thailand then to what is now Malaysia then, in 1836, to Korea.

Sts. Lawrence, Pierre, and Jacques labored faithfully in Korea.  They had help from a layman, St. Paul Chong Hasang, born in 1795.  St. Paul had grown up in a Catholic family.  He understood martyrdom well; his father Yak Jong Church, had died for the faith in 1801, during an official persecution that also claimed the lives of all Catholic priests in Korea.  During occasional persecutions St. Paul encouraged his fellow Catholics to remain faithful and tried to convince the royal government that the Church was not a threat.  Our saint also lobbied bishops to send more priests to Korea and proved instrumental in the creation of the Apostolic Vicariate of Korea by Pope Gregory XVI in 1831.  He was studying for the priesthood when the persecution of 1839 began.

Authorities arrested Sts. Lawrence, Pierre, Jacques, and Paul on September 6, 1839.  The priests, beaten and tortured, died at Saemant’o on September 21, 1839.  St. Paul died the following day.

St. Paul’s mother and sister became martyrs also.  St. Cecilia Yu Sosa, born in Seoul in 1761, died in prison, after repeated whippings, in November 1839.  The following month her daughter, St. Jung Hye, died for the faith.

The Church has recognized all these martyrs.  In 1925 Pope Pius XI declared them Venerables then beatified them.  Pope John Paul II canonized them in 1984.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 13, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JOHN HENRY HOPKINS, JR., EPISCOPAL PRIEST AND HYMNODIST; AND HIS NEPHEW, JOHN HENRY HOPKINS, III, EPISCOPAL PRIEST AND MUSICIAN

THE FEAST OF ELIZABETH PAYSON PRENTISS, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF JEREMY TAYLOR, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF DOWN, CONNOR, AND DROMORE

THE FEAST OF JOHN BAJUS, U.S. LUTHERAN MINISTER AND HYMN TRANSLATOR

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Almighty God, by whose grace and power your holy martyrs

Saint Franciscus Ch’oe Kyong-Hwan,

Saint Lawrence Mary Joseph Imbert,

Saint Pierre Philibert Maubant,

Saint Jacques Honoré Chastán,

Saint Paul Chong Hasang,

Saint Cecilia Yu Sosa, and

Saint Jung Hye

triumphed over suffering and were faithful even to death:

Grant us, who now remember them in thanksgiving,

to be so faithful in our witness to you in the world,

that we may receive with them the crown of life;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with

you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 51:1-12

Psalm 116 or 116:1-8

Revelation 7:13-17

Luke 12:2-12

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 714

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