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St. Peter Choe Hyong

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Birth: ~1813
Death: 1866
Canonized By: Pope John Paul II

As a Catholic layman of Korea, Peter Ch'oe Hyong suffered imprisonment for his faith. Following his release, he served as an assistant to the Korean priest (Saint) Andrew Kim Tae-gon until the latter's martyrdom in 1846. Afterward, Peter married. Employed as a merchant, he devoted his spare time to the making of rosaries and the copying of Catholic books. The missionary bishop (Saint) Simeon Berneux entrusted to Peter the task of founding a printery to publish Catholic literature in the Korean language. Over four years, Peter's press produced several thousand copies of Catholic books. When subsequently Bishop Berneux was arrested by the pagan authorities, the judge deciding his case was astonished by the quantity of Korean Catholic books the police had discovered. A betrayer identified Peter as the source of this vast corpus of literature, which quickly led to Peter's arrest. Following repeated interrogations and tortures, Peter was beheaded together with another layman who had collaborated with him in his publishing apostolate, (Saint) John Baptist Chon Chang-un.


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