In Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate (Rejoice and Be Glad), he enjoins us to embark on our Christian journey of holiness by embracing the ordinariness of everyday. Throughout his exhortation, Pope Francis calls out more than 40 saints who can assist us on our mission of Christian faith, and to teach us how to rejoice and be glad in all of life’s challenges, mysteries, and joys.

During the 34 weeks of Ordinary Time, we will introduce you to some of the saints mentioned in Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation. #OrdinarySaints for #OrdinaryTime #HolyOrdinary

#141 Growth in holiness is a journey in community, side by side with others. We see this in some holy communities. From time to time, the Church has canonized entire communities that lived the Gospel heroically or offered to God the lives of all their members. We can think, for example, of … the Korean martyrs Saint Andrew Taegon and companions.

The evangelization of Korea didn’t begin until the 17th century through a group of lay persons. A strong Christian community thrived there under this lay leadership until the Parish Foreign Mission Society arrived.

In the 19th century terrible persecutions of Christians occurred, and 103 members of the Christian community sacrificed their lives as martyrs. Andrew Kim Taegon, the first Korean priest and pastor, was extraordinary in his witness of faith. A few other priests and bishops were among the martyrs, but mostly it was lay people – men and women, married and unmarried, children, young people, and the elderly – that gave up their lives for the faith.

All of these martyrs suffered greatly, and their witness was the rich beginning of a flourishing Church in Korea.

St. Pope John Paul II canonized St. Andrew and companions in 1986.


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