The lay catechist Charles Hyon Song-mun, of Seoul, Korea, belonged to a family that had suffered much for the Catholic faith during the waves of persecution that had swept their country from the late eighteenth century onward. Charlesís father was executed in 1801, and his older sister (Saint) Benedicta Hyon Kyong-nyon suffered martyrdom in 1839. His wife and son died in prison. Charles served as a trusted lay assistant to the missionaries, offering encouragement to new converts, distributing alms, and writing a book about the persecution of 1839. He personally accompanied Koreaís first native priest, (Saint) Andrew Kim Tae-gon, on a dangerous journey to Shanghai, China. When Father Kim secretly took up his residence in Seoul to begin his priestly labors there, Charles risked his own safety by registering the priestís house in his own name. Soon after Father Kimís arrest in June of 1846, government agents tracked Charles down and arrested him together with four Catholic women visiting his home. In prison, Charles gave courage to the other Catholics there. He faced his own beheading with calm fortitude.
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By Deacon Keith A Fournier
God and his angels look down upon us; Christ, who looks on as we do battle in the contest of faith. What great dignity and glory are ours, what happiness to struggle in the presence of God and to be crowned by Christ our judge. Let us be armed with a great ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes