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Pope, at general audience, pays tribute to St. Andrew Kim Taegon

May 24, 2023

Continuing his series of Wednesday catecheses on the theme of “the passion for evangelization: the apostolic zeal of the believer,” Pope Francis devoted his May 24 general audience to St. Andrew Kim Taegon (1821-1846), the first Korean priest.

“In our continuing catechesis on apostolic zeal, we now turn to St. Andrew Kim Taegon, the first native priest of Korea and a martyr for the faith,” Pope Francis said, in the words of the Vatican summary of his remarks. “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.”

The summary continued:

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 St. 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.


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