Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Catholicism in Korea: A Spiritual Journey

It was said that Catholicism in Korea has unique origin for it was not brought there by missionaries from the West. Catholicism started when a certain Korean community found some text explaining the Catholic doctrine. From there, the Catholic community grew. 

Catholicism in Korea is very meaningful because even though it is not the bastion of Catholicism in Asia, it produced 103 saints and many more martyrs are under scrutiny in the Vatican. It was believed that more or less 8,000 Catholics died during the persecution under the Chosun Dynasty.       

Myeongdong Cathedral

The head of Jesus Christ at Myeongdong Cathedral grounds.

The bust of Saint Andrew Kim Taegun 

The Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto with the convent of the Sisters of Saint Paul de Chartres in the background. In front of this grotto is the crypt and perpetual adoration chapel. The crypt contains the remains of St. Andrew Kim Taegun and St. Laurent Imbert. 

The statue of Jesus Christ originally placed in front of the cathedral 

After the Chrism Mass officiated by His Eminence Nicholas Cardinal Cheong 

The cathedral choir 

The Korean priests who renewed their priestly vows during the Chrism Mass. 

After the Chrism Mass, I was fortunate to meet Archbishop Emeritus Nicholas Cardinal Cheong at the Myeongdong Cathedral convent.  

Jeoldusan Martyr's Shrine

Entrance to the Martyrs' Shrine 

One of the tools used to persecute early Christians in Korea. 

This is the Martyrs' Shrine which houses the Church, the Museum and the Martyrs' Crypt. The Martyr's Crypt contains the remains of the martyrs such as Saint Andrew Kim Taegun, Bishop Laurent Imbert, Bishop Simeon Francois Berneux, Paul Chong Hasan, etc.  

The imposing statue of Saint Andrew Kim Taegun, the Patron Saint of Korean Clergy. It was said that he had the opportunity to visit the province of Bulacan in the Philippines during the Spanish times. 

A tribute to a family martyred because of their faith. 

A stone with anti-Westerners notice during the Chosun dynasty.  

A Shrine to the Martyrs


The statue of the Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Korea 

The statue of St. Andrew Kim Taegun.  

The statue of one of the martyrs. 

The exquisite painting of Our Lady of Korea   

The baptistry at the altar. 

The mural at the altar depicting the Virgin Mary carrying Jesus in Korean style. 

 A mural in the altar depicting the Korean Martyrs.

The Martyrium's imposing altar in Korean style.

The vessel for holy water. 

The Church's Korean bell used during consecration.

Yakhyeon Church

This church was built over a hill where the early Christians in Korea were persecuted. This is nestled in a lovable surroundings perfect for persons wanting spiritual discernment. This is also a perfect venue for weddings.

The Belfry 

The altar

Across the road is the Memorial to the Martyrs.

Advise to Expatriates in Seoul: Most of the masses in Seoul are in Korean language. Even the Holy Week and Christmas services are in Korean. English mass only happens every Sunday, 9:00 a.m. at Myeongdong Cathedral.  

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