In 1839, 1866, and 1867, one hundred and three Christians in Korea gave their lives as martyrs. Among them were Father Andrew Kim Tae-gon, first Korean pries and pastor, and the lay apostle, Paul Chong Ha-sang. The martyrs included bishops and priests, but for the most part, they were members of the laity. They consecrated the rich beginnings of the Church in Korea with their blood. “I URGE YOU TO REMAIN STEADFAST IN FAITH, SO THAT AT LAST WE WILL ALL REACH HEAVEN AND THERE REJOICE TOGETHER.” St. Andrew Kim Tae-gon, Final Exhortation. Today the Catholic Church remembers these Martyrs.
How many martyrs, I wonder will we find in the Middle East? Please pray for all the Christians in the Middle East who are being martyred. You will notice that word ends in “red” as in blood? Please pray for them, and if you know anyone from those Countries, Syria, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, and even Afghanistan, please let them know we are praying for them for their courage and strength.
I wonder, would you personally have the courage to walk into a burned out church where the priest was still saying Mass, even if the Islamists were shooting at you because you are a Christian as you walked in? I would hope I would, but without the strength of the grace from Jesus Christ, I know there is no way.