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Birth: ~1810

Death: 1866

Canonized By: Pope John Paul II


During a wave of persecution against Catholics in Korea in 1839, John Baptist Chon was arrested for his faith. But after spending a month in prison, he gained his release by apostatizing. Yet he did not long enjoy his physical freedom, for upon being reproached by his mother for denying his faith, he grieved that with the lack of clergy in the country he could not find a priest to whom he could confess his sins and be formally reconciled with the Church. For several years, he remained despondent, only nominally observing his faith, until he met the Korean priest, (Saint) Andrew Kim, who heard his general confession. John now became a fervent penitent. Early in 1866 he accepted the duty of helping to run a printery that published Catholic books for the Korean faithful. As a new wave of persecution arose in the country, John was arrested for his publishing activities. He was thereafter tortured and put to death by beheading together with the founder of the printery, (Saint) Peter Ch’oe Hyong. Afterward, John’s wife buried him near his mother’s grave.


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