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Birth: ~1819

Death: 1840

Canonized By: Pope John Paul II


Agatha Kwon Chin-i, a Catholic of Korea, had been married at a very early age, but her husband deferred taking her into his home because of his dire poverty. Consequently, he entrusted her to the care of his relatives. At about the age of twenty-one, Agatha was arrested together with her mother, (Saint) Magdalene Han Yong-i, and two other young Catholic women. Magdalene was separated from her daughter and the two others, who were placed under house arrest. An apostate Christian came to Agatha, offering to reward her if she consented to go away with him and threatening her if she refused. Agatha disdainfully rejected his evil invitation. The officers guarding the women were so moved to sympathy for Agatha that in order to save her from the apostate’s advances they allowed all three girls to escape from the house. The guards were afterwards punished by their superiors for this act of clemency, and Agatha was soon re-captured. At court she was brutally beaten upon her legs. In prison she was able to see her mother one final time before the latter was executed in December of 1839. A month later, Agatha was beheaded.


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