Thousands of Korean martyrs will be remembered at a special vigil Mass at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 16th at
The Mass will be followed by music and dance and a special reception, according to a press release from church spokesman Al Restivo. The organizing group plans to provide delicious Korean food for those who attend this special celebration.
This year the planners will present a traditional tea ceremony and tea tasting opportunity at the reception. Certified masters from Korea will present this special event; they are specialists in the traditional arts. Deacon Augie Won promises that this will be a rare opportunity to discover the special flavor of the Korean culture.
History of Christianity
The practice of Christianity in Korea has a relatively short history, but after a difficult beginning it has seen significant growth and success. The Catholic community of Korea suffered major persecutions in the years 1839, 1846 and 1866, chiefly for the religion's refusal to carry out the traditional worship of ancestors, which it perceived to be a form of false idolatry, but which the State prescribed as a cornerstone of culture.
The persecutions produced at least 8,000 known martyrs. Among them were the fervent Korean priest Andrew Kim Taegŏn and the Korean lay catechist Paul Chŏng Hasang. The vast majority of the martyrs were simple lay people, including men and women, married and single, old and young.
Pope John Paul II canonized the martyrs in May 1984 and in a break with tradition, the canonization ceremony did not take place in Rome, but in Seoul, South Korea. Their feast day is September 20. Currently, Korea has the 4th largest number of saints in the Catholic world.
The parish and the Korean Martyrs Spirituality Center of Southern California sponsor the event. St. Bede the Venerable Roman Catholic Church is located at 215 Foothill Blvd. A reception that follows the Mass will be held in the Parish Hall adjacent to the church.