ASIA/SOUTH KOREA - Special Mass for 20th anniversary of the canonisation of Korea’s 103 Catholic martyrs

Saturday, 8 May 2004

Seoul (Agenzia Fides) - To mark the 20th anniversary of the canonisation in Seoul by Pope John Paul II of Korea’s 103 Catholic Martyrs, a special Mass was celebrated on May 1 at Jeoldusan Shrine presided by Archbishop Nicholas Cheong, Archbishop of Seoul concelebrated with three Auxiliary Bishops of Seoul and many priests in the presence of 8,000 people. Special guest for the occasion Cardinal Stephen Kim.
In his homily Archbishop Cheong said: “The canonisation of our 103 Martyrs, the first to be held outside the Vatican, was a memorable event. It was a great honour for us the Pope John Paul II came personally here to Yeoido Plaza a Seoul, in 1984, to perform this rite and it was an unusual occasion for so many saints to be canonised at the same time”.
“Like our martyrs, we too are called to be authentic witnesses to Christ and to be firm in our faith despite difficulties”, the Archbishop affirmed, reminding them the faithful to “carry the Cross willingly for the glory of God” and to pray that the Catholic Church in Korea will be filled anew with the spirit of its Martyrs and may be a “Church of witness” , salt of the earth and light of the world, in order to evangelise the people of Korea and beyond.
In the afternoon there was the recitation of the Holy Rosary to pray for the beatification and canonisation of many other Christians martyred for the faith in Korea. The prayer was followed by a musical representation of the life and martyrdom of Saint Andrew Kim Tae-gon and companions martyred in 1846 and canonised in 1984.
(Agenzia Fides 08/05/2004 Lines: 156 Words: 18)