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Birth: ~1816

Death: 1866

Canonized By: Pope John Paul II


John Baptist Nam, a royal chamberlain of the Korean monarchy, was a Catholic husband and father who had fallen from the practice of his faith and had been away from the sacraments for years. Nonetheless, his Catholic conscience prompted him to make a petition on behalf of the imprisoned Catholic bishop, (Saint) Simeon Berneux, and to resign from his court position to escape participation in the pagan rites of ancestor worship. When subsequently John was hunted down and arrested by the pagan authorities, he courageously professed his Catholic faith and remained constant, despite torture. About this time, he confessed his sins to a missionary priest and received Holy Communion from him. Condemned to death, John was placed in a cart and suspended by ropes from a cross mounted in it, so that as the cart traveled along a rough road, he was painfully jostled about, as he dangled from the ropes. In the end he was beheaded outside the “Small West Gate” of Korea’s capital city of Seoul.


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