Today is the feast day of the first Korean priest, St. Kim Taegon, Andrew. Born on August 21st 1821 of a noble family. His great-grandfather was an official of the regional government and at the age of 50 was baptized, shortly after was arrested and spent over 10 years in jail where he died. His grandson Kim Chae-jun Ignatius and Ko Ursala gave birth to Kim Taegon. His father Ignatius was martyred in 1839.
Taegon, Andrew died in 1846 just 13 months after ordination. He was
arrested tortured and killed for helping priests come into Korea from
China. He is now revered as the patron saint of all Korean priests, the
first priest of a 60 year Catholic history.
editorials and articles in the Catholic papers show us the reasons he
is an example of what is expected of a priest. His family was before
conversion to the foreign religion, a wealthy and respected member of the
Korean nobility. Conversion meant becoming fugitives and living in
of the editorials mentioned the talk that Pope Francis gave to the
bishops and priests in which he asked them not to strive for success
and power in the way of the world. The reason he brought it to their
attention: " Your Church is flourishing, a wonderfully evangelizing Church, and big Church."
Francis, said the editorial, was concerned that the Church will be
criticized for being too wealthy. He doesn't want the Church to ignore
the poor, and be a Church for 'well being' a wealthy and indolent
Church, and he is mainly addressing these words to the bishops and
is not destitution. Doing less with what one needs is the beginning of a
life of poverty. When we are not concerned with prestige and honors we
are on the way to spiritual poverty. We need the material
poverty but more so the spiritual poverty that we hear about in the 'Sermon on the Mount' in Matthew's Gospel.
editorial ends asking for prayers for priests to follow the example
of St. Andrew Kim. In his short life he was an example of poverty, and asks we pray that priests realize the joys that result from this type of life.