Archive for the ‘Korean Martyrs’ Category

Sts. Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Hasang, et al.
September 22, 2011

St. Andrew Kim Taegon

Back in the 17th century – 1600 years after Christ was born, and about 100 years after Luther posted the 95 theses – Christianity was only slowly creeping into Korean culture. Yet, Korea could not claim a native-born priest, someone to administer the sacrifice of the Mass, until 1845. Andrew Kim Taegon was ordained by a French priest while studying in the seminary in Macau, the Portugese colony in what is now Southern China.

St. Paul Chong Hasang

Paul Hasang was the son of another Christian martyr, who, together with his brother (Paul’s uncle and also a martyr), wrote the first Catholic Catechism in Korean. When Paul grew older, his political career offered many opportunities to strengthen the Church in Korea. He met with the bishop of Beijing several times and got him to send resources to the persecuted Church. He also wrote to Pope Gregory XVI (who is known for issuing the papal bull condemning international slave trade) to set up a diocese in Korea, which happened in 1825. He was to be ordained a priest before another of several persecutions broke out. He was caught and his writings were seized as evidence. His judge read them and stated, “You are right in what you have written, but this religion is forbidden and you must renounce your faith.” To which Hasang replied “No,” but likely more eloquently.

The Korean Martyrs

Andrew Kim Taegon was also victim of this persecution as were many other priests, non-Korean bishops, and lay. This feast was established by Bl. John Paul II as commemoration of the martyrdom required to establish Christianity in Korea. All martyrs exhibit a peculiar grace; the Church tells us that martyrs give “the supreme witness to the truth of the faith.” The supreme witness of the martyrs receives the supreme station of veneration. No miracles needed. Nothing but the power of their testimony.

This feast is pertinent to me (J) for the reason illustrated below.

My mom, my dad, my kid.

Accordingly, we cooked a wonderful spread of Korean barbecue beef (bulgogi) and sides.

Bulgogi (Beef, 2lbs tenderloin, sliced REALLY thinly)

Bulgogi beef


1/4c Soy sauce

2T sugar

1T sesame oil

1t vinegar

1/2 onion, grated

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2t ginger, grated

1t. sesame seeds

1/4t. pepper

To get the beef thin enough, place in freezer for about 20 minutes then cut with sharp knife.

Marinate beef for … a long time. It’s not really that necessary since it’s cut so thinly. But just keep it in the fridge for a long time. Just do it.

Then, cook it over a grill. We didn’t. We cooked it in a wok.

Bulgogi (chicken, breast meat, sliced thinly)


3T soy sauce

1T sugar

1t rice vinegar

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4t ginger, grated

1 green onion, diced

2t sesame oil

1T water

1t sri-racha, or Korean chili paste

pepper to taste

Marinate the same way, yo.

Pickled cucumbers (left) and Pajori (right)

Pajori (Korean scallion salad)

Pickled cucumber

Korean Bok Choy and, well, rice

Bok Choy

Doing our best to keep it real

Last words of St. Andrew Kim: “…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.”

Evening prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours for this Feast:

O God,
you have created all nations
and you are their salvation.
In the land of Korea
your call to Catholic faith
formed a people of adoption,
whose growth you nurtured
by the blood of Andrew, Paul, and their companions.
Through their martyrdom and their intercession
grant us strength
that we too may remain faithful to your commandments
even until death.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
– Amen.