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Korean saint Andrew Kim to be enshrined in Africa

Parts of his remains will be enshrined at St. Joseph Church in the Archdiocese of Koupéla in Burkina Faso

UCA News reporter

UCA News reporter

Published: November 26, 2021 07:10 AM GMT

Updated: November 26, 2021 09:11 AM GMT

Korean saint Andrew Kim to be enshrined in Africa

Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, the archbishop of Seoul, delivers the relics of St. Andrew Kim to Monsignor Julien Kaboré, charge d'affaires of the apostolic nunciature in Manila and a native of the Archdiocese of Koupéla, on Nov. 23. (Photo: Archdiocese of Seoul)

Some of the mortal remains of the first Korean Catholic priest, St. Andrew Kim Tae-gon, will be enshrined in a church in Burkina Faso in West Africa.

They will be kept at St. Joseph Church in the Archdiocese of Koupéla as the Korean Church celebrates the 200th birth anniversary of the saint who was martyred in the 19th century.

The parish church in eastern Burkina Faso was recently renovated with funds from the Catholic community in Yeouido-dong Parish of the Archdiocese of Seoul in South Korea.

Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, the outgoing archbishop of Seoul, delivered the relics of St. Andrew Kim to Monsignor Julien Kaboré, charge d'affaires of the apostolic nunciature in Manila and a native of the Archdiocese of Koupéla, during a meeting in Seoul on Nov. 23, according to a press release from Seoul Archdiocese.

Bishop Job Yobi Koo, episcopal vicar for overseas missionaries, participated in the event as the Korean-French translator.

Cardinal Yeom expressed his delight after delivering the remains of the saint in the year marking the bicentenary of his birth.

It is such a great honor to enshrine the remains of St. Andrew Kim at a cathedral in Burkina Faso. This is a sign of unity and the communion of saints

“I am very pleased to be given the opportunity to build fraternal solidarity between the Catholic Church in Korea and Burkina Faso through St. Andrew Kim. I believe that it will allow us to be more deeply united in the love of God,” Cardinal Yeom said.

Monsignor Kaboré said the church in Burkina Faso is honored to enshrine St. Andrew Kim.

“It is such a great honor to enshrine the remains of St. Andrew Kim at a cathedral in Burkina Faso. This is a sign of unity and the communion of saints. I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to Cardinal Yeom for his thoughtful consideration and support on behalf of His Excellency Gabriel Sayaogo, archbishop of Koupéla,” Monsignor Kaboré said.

Monsignor Kaboré said he was deeply impressed by the history of martyrdom in the Korean Church during his time serving in the apostolic nunciature in Korea. 

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Andrew Kim, born in 1821, was the son of Christian converts, according to Franciscan media. He was baptized at the age of 15. He then traveled to a seminary in Macau, China, and returned to his homeland after six years through Manchuria. In 1845, he crossed the Yellow Sea to Shanghai where he was ordained a priest.

Father Andrew was assigned to arrange for more missionaries to enter Korea secretly by a coastal route that would elude border patrols. He was arrested, tortured and beheaded next to the Han River near Seoul in 1846.

During his visit to South Korea in 1984, Pope John Paul II canonized 103 martyrs including Andrew Kim, Kim's father Ignatius, Paul Chong and seven French missionaries who had been martyred in the 19th century during a period brutal persecution of Christians under the rule of the Joseon dynasty.

Yonhap news agency reports that St. Kim's remains are currently scattered and enshrined in 200 places at home and abroad, including Rome, Macau and Indonesia.

The South Korean Church is celebrating the 200th birth centenary of the saint with year-long programs including memorial Masses, events and pilgrimages starting from Nov. 29, 2020.

The jubilee celebrations will officially conclude with nationwide Memorial Masses in South Korean churches on Nov. 27.  

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