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Korean martyr approved for advancement to sainthood by pope

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
February 11th, 2014
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Layman Paul Yun Ji-chung, along with 123 others who lived in Korea between 1791 and 1888 are now being recognized by Pope Francis for their martyrdom in their refusal to renounce the Catholic faith. Yun Ji-chung is being recognized for his unwavering dedication and bravery. Coming from a noble family, he converted to Catholicism at the age of 28. He eventually helped his mother and other family members to convert to the church afterwards.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Three years after his baptism, Yun Ji-chung's bishop in 1790 declared that his ancestral rites be prohibited. The young man incurred the wrath of the authorities the next year in his rejection by rejecting the use of Confucian ancestral rites for his mother's funeral.

Beheaded on December 8, 1791 at the age of 32, Yun Ji-chung's is recognized for his steadfast adherence to the faith.

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Pope Francis has since approved the advancement of the causes for canonization of over one hundred lay Catholics persecuted for their faith, as well as a bishop, a religious sister, and two priests.

Pope Francis in a decree last week authorized the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints to promulgate the causes of these Catholics in the various stages of the canonization process.

Franciscan priest Father Francesco Zirano was recognized with the title, "servant of God." Killed in 1603 in Algiers, Father Zirano suffered a brutal death of being flayed alive.

Zirano had travelled to Algiers in an attempt to rescue his cousin who had been made a slave after being captured by pirates. Father Zirano was beaten and put into prison soon after his arrival.

The priest was sentenced to death due to a case of mistaken identity He refused to renounce his faith and spent his last days encouraging the other Christians in prison. Father Zirano was executed on January 25, 1603.

Three others who died in the last century in the papal decree last week: Jesus Maria Echavarria y Aguirre, Bishop of Saltillo, Mexico and founder of the Catechist Sisters of Guadalupe, who died in 1954; Father Faustino Ghilardi of the Order of Friars Minor, who died in 1937; and Sister Maria Rocio of Jesus Crucified, who belonged to the Congregation of the Sisters of the Love of God and died in 1956.

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