Monday, April 20, 2009

The First Non-matyred Korean Saint?

One of the editorials in the Catholic Paper this past week was about the second Korean priest, Choe Yang Eop (Thomas). April 15 was the 160th year of his ordination. He is being proposed for beatification with 124 Korean martyrs. He will be the first non-martyred Saint. His cause is separated from those of the martyrs. He worked for 12 years in pastoral work among his Korean Christians. Kim Andrew was the first Korean Priest but died a martyrs death shortly after ordination. Fr. Choe was actually the one who helped the Church to grow. He can be considered a Korean Church Father. He was born in 1821 and died in 1861 overworked and dying of typhoid fever.

The editorial went on to say It is sad that the spirituality of Fr. Choe is so unknown among the Christians. They all know he was the second Korean Priest but they are not familiar with his spirituality.

This is also a time it said to look into the life of his mother, Ri Seong Rye. She temporarily denied her Faith because of her bond with her breast feeding son. She was able to overcome her maternal instincts,separating herself from her son and entering jail on her own to face beheading. This example of his mother was instrumental in making Fr.Thomas Choe the heroic figure that he was.

The editorial finishes on hope that he will soon enter the ranks of the Saints and be a new model of spirituality for the Catholics.

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