06/16/2009, 00.00
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Official petition for 125 Korean Martyrs presented to Vatican

by Theresa Kim Hwa-young
The Congregation for the Cause of Saints begins its investigation that will lead to the beatification of 124 Martyrs and Father Thomas Choe Yang, who will join the 103 Korean Martyrs canonized by Pope Wojtyła in June 1984
Seoul (AsiaNews) – The Vatican Congregation for the Cause of Saints has welcomed Korean Church documents for the beatification of 125 martyrs who died between 1791 and 1884, the majority of whom were lay.   But among them is also Father Thomas Choe Yang–eop, referred to as the “Martyr of Sweat” because of the 2800km he travelled for the cause of evangelisation.

The delegates were led by Peter Kang U-il, the President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea, and accompanied by H.E. Francesco Kim Ji-Young, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the Holy See.

Before presenting the petition, the delegates met with Msgr. Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. He explained how up to now, the petitions for Beatification presented to the Congregation from all over the world come up to 2,000, of which "those from Asia and Africa will be given the priority”.

Ambassador Francesco Kim commented that "as a layman, I pray for 124 Korean martyrs to be raised to the status of the Blessed and the Saint, as soon as possible. I am here on the behalf of all Korean laypersons, who share the same hope with me”.

The petition was present to Mgr. Giacomo Pappalardo, who is in charge of the acceptance of the petition for the Beatification. The investigation of the cause for the of the Beatification of 124 Korean Martyrs and Fr. Choe Yang-eop will begin with the approval of the same Congregation of the Roman postulator Rev. John Kim Jong-su, appointed by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea.      

On May 6th this year Korean Catholics celebrated the 25th anniversary of the canonization of 103 Korean martyrs, composed of 92 laymen and women, three bishops, 8 priests among them the first Korean Priest Father Andrew Kim Dae-geon, referred to as the “Martyr of Blood”.  They were canonized in 1984 in Seoul by Pope John Paul II, to mark the 200th anniversary of the Church in Korea, born in 1784 thanks to the evangelisation of a group of lay people.


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