Saint Andrew Kim Taegon (1821-1846)

for September 20

Saint Andrew Kim Taegon is among the 103 Korean martyrs canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1984. During the 18th and 19th centuries, Christians in Korea were persecuted. Openly practicing the faith meant risking death. At the age of 15, Andrew Kim Taegon decided to risk being a Christian and was baptized. Later he became the first Korean-born priest, but he had to leave Korea to do it. Andrew's journey to the priesthood also led him to become an escort for missionaries traveling between China and Korea. Saint Andrew was eventually caught, jailed, tortured, and beheaded. He is one of the many Korean martyrs who gave up their lives instead of giving up their faith. (Taken from "Exploring Saints and Feast Days with Young Adolescents.")

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Saint Andrew Kim Taegon was fully aware that converting to Christianity and working for its dissemination would endanger his life. Perhaps he even expected that his work would inevitably lead to his death. Despite this awareness, Saint Andrew Kim Taegon persisted in his mission to spread Christianity. Take a moment to consider the courage and faith required to work on behalf of a cause that one knows will likely result in death.


Dear Jesus, please give me the courage and faith to be willing to follow you regardless of the difficulties that this lifestyle imposes.