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Catholics pray for canonization of 'St. Paul of Korea'

Christianity in South Korea has grown from about 1 percent of the population in the 1900s to nearly one third today

Catholics pray for canonization of 'St. Paul of Korea'

Father Thomas Choe Yang-eop died from typhoid in 1861. (Photo supplied)

South Korean Catholics have been attending special Masses and events to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of prominent theologian and local missionary priest Father Thomas Choe Yang-eop, who is on the path of sainthood.

Father Choe was accorded the title Servant of God, the first of three stages on the path to sainthood in the Catholic Church, in 2004. Pope Francis declared him venerable in 2016. After being declared venerable and being addressed as Blessed, the candidate's final stage is being canonized as a saint.

For a candidate who is not a martyr to be beatified (declared venerable), the Vatican requires a miracle certified as due to their intercession. A second miracle is then required for canonization.

Father Choe (1821-61) is not the first Korean saint. St. Andrew Kim Taegon was canonized on May 6, 1984.

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