Catholic Church In Korea

 103 Korean Martyr Saints


Saint Laurent Marie Joseph Imbert, Bishop (1797-1839)


Saint Laurent Marie Joseph Imbert, Bishop (1797-1839)


    Bishop Imbert was born in France on April 15, 1797. He joined the Paris Foreign Mission Society in 1819, and in the following year he left Paris to go to Szechuan in China. Later he was in charge of the seminary there. 
    He was named the Vicar Apostolic of Korea at the age of 41. In 1837, he was led by Korean Catholics and successfully crossed the Yalu River after many hardships and difficulties. Thirteen days later his entourage arrived at Seoul. He was the fist bishop to set foot in this country, six years after the establishment of the Vicariate Apostolic of Korea and 52 years after the foundation of the Catholic Church in Korea. One can easily imagine how happy the Catholics of that time were. 
    He met two French priests, Fathers Maubant and Chastan. They worked very hard in a strange and unfamiliar country. The number of the Catholics was about 6,000 when the first French missionary (Father Maubant) started to work in Korea in 1836. By 1839 the number of Catholics had reached 9,000. 
    Bishop Imbert tried to escape the persecution, and in 1839 hid himself in Suwon with the help of Son Andrew. 
    The fact that the French missionaries were in the country had become known publicly to almost everyone, because some informers spread the news. 
    The traitor, Kim Yo-sang, promised the government officials that he would catch the French missionaries if they gave him some policemen. The government officials gave him the police that he requested. 
    Kim Yo-sang approached a naive Catholic farmer and told him a lie, saying that some learned Catholics in Seoul had persuaded the government officials to accept the Catholic faith. He said that the government officials and even some high ranking ministers had decided to become Catholic. He went further, suggesting that the French missionaries should go to Seoul to convert the government people. 
    The simple Catholic, deceived by Kim Yo-sang, led the group of men to Son Andrew's home, where Bishop Imbert had been hiding. He arrived ahead of the police and told the bishop what he heard from Kim Yo-sang. The bishop knew that the Catholic had been deceived. He did not run away but decided to give himself up to the police in order to avoid trouble for his people. 
    On August 10, 1839, the feast of St. Laurence, his patron saint, Bishop Imbert surrendered himself to the police and was led to the Seoul prison. He was interrogated by a Korean official. The official forced him to renounce God, but he strongly refused to do so. Therefore, Bishop Imbert was finally sentenced to death, and was beheaded at Saenamteo on September 21, 1839. He was 43 years old. His body was buried in Samseongsan Mountain, and later transferred to the grotto of Myongdong Cathedral.

List of Articles
No. Subject Views
Notice Stories of the Lives of the 103 Korean Martyr Saints 333527
44 김효임 골룸바 Columba Kim Hyo-im 60928
43 홍금주 페르페투아 Perpetua Hong Kum-ju 38126
42 박봉손 막달레나 Magdalena Pak Pong-son 40595
41 김제준 이냐시오 Ignatius Kim Che-jun 47258
40 조신철 가롤로 Carolus Cho Shin-chol 40743
39 전경협 아가타 Agatha Chon Kyong-hyob 44547
38 김 율리에타 Iulietta Kim 38208
37 남이관 세바스티아노 Sebastianus Nam I-gwan 32371
36 허계임 막달레나 Magdalena Ho Kye-im 42041
35 유진길 아우구스티노 Auguestinus Yu Chin-gil 62365
34 샤스땅 야고보 Iacobus Chastan 38241
33 모방 베드로 Petrus Maubant 64594
» 앵베르 라우렌시오 Laurentius Imbert 40521
31 최경환 프란치스코 Franciscus Choe Kyong-hwan 56703
30 김효주 아녜스 Agnes Kim Hyo-ju 43804

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