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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis remembers Korea's first martyred priest

In his General Audience, Pope Francis remembered St. Andrew Kim Tae-gon. He lived two hundred years ago in Korea and is the country's first martyred priest. The Pope's latest cycle of catechesis is focused on apostolic zeal and and often features the lives of saints. 


Dear brothers and sisters:

In our continuing catechesis on apostolic zeal, we now turn to Saint Andrew Kim Taegon, the first native priest of Korea and a martyr for the faith. At a time of fierce persecution, Saint Andrew courageously sought out the scattered members of his flock who, for fear of arrest, were forced to keep their identity secret. As a young seminarian, Andrew aided missionary priests from abroad, who covertly entered the country to minister to its people. He endured great hardships for the sake of the Gospel.

Once, amid a long trek through the snow, he fell to the ground exhausted and risked dying of exposure. Suddenly he heard a voice saying: “Get up and keep walking!” He realized that, in his witness to the Gospel, he was not alone, and that the Lord would never forsake him. In the end, his perseverance in following Christ and serving his people led to his death as a martyr.

Inspired by the example of Saint Andrew Kim Taegon, may we persevere in our bapismal calling to be missionary disciples, sharing the joy of the Gospel with others, trusting in the strength that the Lord unfailingly grants us.