St. Andrew Kim, 5th of July
1821. 08. 21 | Born between Ignatius Jejun Kim and Ursula Ko in Solmoi Chungnam
1837. 06.~1842. 03. | Studied Theology at Macao
1844. 12. 17. | Ordained Deacon in Manchuria
1845. 01. 15. | Returned to Korea after Eight Years
1845. 04. | Went to Shanghai to Bring Msgr. Jean J. Perréol into Korea
1845. 08. 17. | Ordained Priest near Shanghai, the First Korean to Be Ordained to the Priesthood
1845. 08. 31. | Entered Korea with Msgr. Jean J. Perréol and Fr. Antoine Daveluy
1846. 06. 05. | Arrested in Soonwi Isle in Hwanghae
1846. 09. 16. | Executed at Saenamteo
1925. 07. 05. | Declared Blessed along with 78 Other Korean Martyrs
1984. 05. 06. | Canonized Saint by Pope John Paul II along with Other 102 Korean Martyrs
St. Andrew Kim is our patron saint. Many Catholic organizations and faithful take their name after him. That is to imitate his life.
He was born into a very devout Catholic family. His great grandfather Pius and his father Ignatius witnessed their faith with martyrdom. He received that fervour of the family and he had a very strong and firm personality. He was chosen by the first French missionary father as first Korean seminarian along with Thomas Yangeop Choi and Francis Bangje Choi. They were sent to Macao to study theology. Francis died of sickness in Macao. Andrew and Thomas finished their studies with excellence. However, they were not 25 yet and they had to wait to be ordained. Korea was given to the Paris Foreign Missions Society as mission territory. The French missionaries were looking for ways to introduce a bishop and priests into Korea. There was no religious freedom in Korea at the time. Admiral Cécille wanted to carry out that task with the float that was sent by Louis Philippe. Andrew Kim became interpreter for the admiral and thus boarded Érigone with Fr. Maistre.
However, admiral Cécille changed his plans and decided not to go to Korea. Andrew Kim decided to go to Korea through land. He met the Francis Kim who was a member of the Korean embassy to China near the border. From him he received information on the religious persecution and the sad news of the martyrdom of many priests and faithful. He also found out that his father was among the martyred. He entered Korea alone on the 29th of December, however, he feared that his identity might be discovered and returned to China. After that he came to Baekgajeom and Sopalgaja to study more theology under Fr. Maistre. He was ordained deacon by Msgr. Perréol on the 15th of December 1844. He tried to enter Korea with Msgr. Perréol but only he himself could go through and go to Seoul.
Faith that does not give in, Firm Belief
In the April of 1845 he went to Shanghai to meet the bishop and the priest. He received priestly ordination at the hands of Msgr. Perréol at Gimgahang near Shanghai. He celebrated his first Mass at the minor seminary of Gimgahang. He was the first Korean to be ordained priest. On the 31st of that same month he started the journey toward Korea along with Msgr. Perréol and Fr. Daveluy on a small wooden ship called Raphael. They landed in small Catholic village called Nabawi in Chungcheong.
The first Korean Priest
He worked hard in preaching the gospel and administering the sacraments. He also wanted to bring Fr. Maistre who was waiting to come to Korea from Manchuria. However, the vigilance was very high along the borders. So he tried to go through Baekryeongdo. He was arrested in Sunwi Isle on 5th of June 1946. He was taken to the police station and revealed the fact that he has studied abroad. The head of the police informed the King of his case. The central government took the matter seriously and had him brought to the capital. Some of the officials were very surprised with his capacity with other languages and his knowledge and wanted to make him abjure his religion and become a government official. However, Fr. Kim tried to convert them to the Catholic faith and was found guilty of being the head of forbidden religious group and was sentenced to death. He was martyred on the 16th of September 1946 after only one year and a month of priestly ministry. He was 26 years old. His remains were buried in Anseong, Gyeonggi-do. He was proclaimed servant of God in 1857, blessed in 1925 and was canonized saint in April of 1984 by John Paul II.