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September 20

Saint Andrew Kim Taegŏn - September 20

Saint Andrew Kim Taegon

First Korean-Born Priest, Martyr

(1821 – 1846)

“We have received baptism, entrance into the Church, and the honor of being called Christians. Yet what good will this do us if we are Christians in name only and not in fact?

Saint Andrew Kim Taegon

Saint’s Life Story

His Early Life 

Andrew Kim Taegon was born on August 21, 1821 in Solmoi, Chungcheong-do, South Korea. Andrew’s parents were converts. His father was subsequently martyred for practicing Christianity, a prohibited activity in heavily Confucian Korea. Andrew was baptized at the age of fifteen. Then, he travelled 1,300 miles to studied at a seminary in the Portuguese colony of Macau, China. Andrew also spent time in study at Lolomboy, Bocaue, Bulacan, and the Philippines.

First Korean Born Priest 

Andrew was ordained a priest in Shanghai in 1844 by the French bishop Jean Joseph Jean-Baptiste Ferréol. He  became the first native Korean priest. Andrew was prompted by his faith in God and his love for the Christian people. So, he found a way to make the difficult task of a missionary entry into Korea to preach and evangelize. During the Joseon Dynasty, Christianity was suppressed and many Christians were persecuted and executed. Catholics had to practise their faith covertly.

His Martyrdom

On September 16, 1846, at the age of 25, Andrew was arrested, tortured and eventually, beheaded near Seoul, Korea on the Han River. His last words were:

“This is my last hour of life, listen to me attentively: if I have held communication with foreigners, it has been for my religion and my God. It is for Him that I die. My immortal life is on the point of beginning. Become Christians if you wish to be happy after death, because God has eternal chastisements in store for those who have refused to know Him.”

Kim was one of 10,000 Christians, who were executed during this time.  On May 6, 1984, Pope John Paul II canonized Andrew along with 102 other Korean Martyrs, including Paul Chong Hasang, during his trip to Korea. The feast day of Saint Andrew Kim Taegon, Saint Paul Chong Hasang and companions is celebrated on September 20th. 

Canonization of the Andrew Kim Taegon and the Korean Martyrs

“The Korean Church is unique because it was founded entirely by laypeople. This fledgling Church, so young and yet so strong in faith, withstood wave after wave of fierce persecution. Thus, in less than a century, it could boast of 10,000 martyrs. The death of these many martyrs became the leaven of the Church and led to today’s splendid flowering of the Church in Korea. Even today their undying spirit sustains the Christians of the Church of Silence in the north of this tragically divided land.”

Pope John Paul II at the canonization of the Korean Martyrs, May 6, 1984

Beatified:            July 5, 1925 by Pope Pius XI

Canonized:         May 6, 1984 by Pope John Paul II

Feast Day:          September 20

Patron Saint:     Korea, Korean Clergy



Saint Andrew Kim Taegon is inspiring by his life. He is a model for Catholics around by his actions, eventually dying for his Catholic faith.  Saint Andrew believed that Christians should not just simply profess their faith. Instead, they must actually practice their faith. We are called to be a light in the world through God’s grace. Just as Saint Andrew’s martyrdom became a light for Christians in Korea.  

So, how can you be a light today in the world shining brightly your faith in Jesus Christ to those in need around you?


O Jesus, Saint Andrew Kim Taegon was the first Korean priest, and Saint Paul Chong was a lay catechist, and they were among 113 Catholics in Korea who died because of the Faith.  I ask them to pray for the continued growth of the Church in Korea and in other Asian countries.  Dear Lord, comfort the persecuted ones, and teach me by their courage to be willing to take greater risks for the Faith.  Let me never forget how easy I have it compared to those whose sacrifices are far greater than mine.  Bless the priests, religious and lay catechists who teach the Faith in non-Christian countries.  
Saints Andrew Kim and Paul Chong, Pray for us.  Amen.

Source: ALL SAINTS: 🌿 Saints Andrew Kim Taegon and Paul Chong Hasang (

Saint Links 

Aleteia – How St. Andrew Kim Taegon challenges us to practice our faith

All Saints & Martyrs – Saints Andrew Kim Taegon and Paul Chong Hasang

Anastpaul – Saints of the Day – 20 September – Martyrs of Korea: St Andrew Kim Taegon, St Paul Chong Hasang & Companions

Catholic Culture – St. Andrew Kim Taegon and St. Paul Chong Hasang and their companions

Catholic Exchange – Sts. Andrew Kim Taegon and Paul Chong Hasang and Companions (Martyrs)

Catholic Fire – St. Andrew Kim Taegon, St. Paul Chong and companions, Korean martyrs

Catholic Ireland – Sep 20 – Fr Andrew Kim and the Korean Martyrs (19th century)

Catholic News Agency – Sts. Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Choñg Ha Feast Day: Sep 20

Catholic Online – Sts. Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Hasang, and Companion – Saint Andrew Kim Taegon

Faith of the Fathers – Saint Andrew Kim Taegŏn

Franciscan Media – Saints Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Hasang, and Companions

Korea Times – Korea’s first Catholic priest, Kim Dae-geon, gets biopic film

Loyola Press – Saints Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Hasang, and Companions Feast Day September 20

My Catholic Life – Sts. Andrew Kim Tae-gŏn, Priest, and Paul Chŏng Ha-sang, and Companions, Martyrs

Saint A Day – 20 September, The Martyrs of Korea

Saints, Feast, Family – Saints Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Hasang, and Companions’ Story

Saint Mary’s Press – Saint Andrew Kim Taegon (1821-1846)

Wikipedia – Andrew Kim Taegon

Video Link

St Andrew Kim Taegon – YouTube Video (steven essex)