Korean Bishops’ Pilgrimage on Foot in the Year of Faith
On September 10, 2013, 21 Korean bishops made a pilgrimage on foot to martyrs’ shrines in downtown Seoul. This pilgrimage was prepared as a part of celebrating the Year of Faith according to the decision at the 2013 Spring General Assembly of the CBCK. It was the first time that the bishops made a pilgrimage to martyrs’ shrines together.
The pilgrimage began with an opening prayer in the Chapel at the Songsin Theological Campus, the Catholic University of Korea, in which some pieces of the remains of Saint Andrew Kim Dae-geon, the first Korean priest and martyr, are preserved. Then they made a pilgrimage to martyrs’ shrines in Seoul, following this itinerary: site of the Left Podo-cheong (police headquarters located on the left of Kyeongbok-palace in the Joseon Dynasty; execution site of Korean martyrs); Supyo-gyo (a bridge near the ancient housing site of Yi Byeok); Myeongdong Cathedral Church (in the Crypt there are the relics of 9 martyrs); Seosomun Martyrs’ Shrine (place of martyrdom, where 44 out of 103 Korean Martyr Saints, many Servants of God and other Catholic martyrs in the earlier Church in Korea sacrificed their lives); Danggogae Martyrs’ Shrine (place of martyrdom, where 10 Korean Catholics were martyred on this hill ‘Danggogae’); Saenamteo Martyrs’ Shrine (place of martyrdom, where 11 priests in the earlier Church in Korea were killed in Saenamteo); Jeoldusan Martyrs’ Shrine (place of martyrdom during the Byeong-in persecution in 1866, and now a church with an underground sepulchre containing the relics of 28 Martyr Saints, a museum and a large outdoor statue of Saint Andrew Kim Dae-geon).
Walking along the pilgrimage routes recently paved by the Archdiocese of Seoul, the bishops, accompanied by some 300 priests, religious and lay persons, had an opportunity to reflect upon the spirit of martyrdom of our Korean ancestors in faith.
The Most Rev. Peter Kang U-il, President of the CBCK and Bishop of Cheju, said, “Our life seems to be less satisfactory in comparison with the martyrs’ life. So we, bishops, came to walk to share in the martyrs’ sufferings.”
The Most Rev. Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, Archbishop of Seoul, highlighted that the Church in Korea configured to Our Lord Jesus Christ should walk on her journey of faith towards God with the Korean martyrs.