사이트맵 | English | 인트라넷
       
        
 
CBCK Newsletter < HOME
CBCK Newsletter No.35(Summer 2001)
Index
The Lives of the 103 Martyr Saints(19)

The Lives of the 103 Korean Martyr Saints - 19

Saint Yu Chin-gil Augustine (1791-1839)
 - 1

   St. Yu Chin-gil Augustine came from a family of government officials. Among the Korean martyrs, he was one of three who held government posts and the father of the 13-year-old martyr, St. Yu Tae-ch'ol Peter, the youngest of the 103 Korean Martyr Saints.
   He was known as a man of deep contemplation. Curious about the origin and meaning of natural phenomena, especially philosophical and religious truths on the origin of man he spent much of the night examining the texts of Neo-Confucianism looking for answers. However, the more he studied the classics the more dissatisfied he became with the Tae-geuk-eum-yang (traditional Korean explanation of reality). His search led him on to investigate the teachings of Taoism and Buddhism. What is the origin of the universe? Is it the Li (basic principle) that Neo-Confucianists talked about or is it the Kong (emptiness) of Buddhism or the Mu (nothingness) of Taoism?
   In his youth he heard of the Catholics who had been arrested and killed. He began to wonder if the books they had studied could be of any help to him. One day he came upon an old chest hidden away in a corner of the house. Inside it was lined with sheets of paper on which words like "spirit of life", "spirit of understanding"”and "soul" were written. Such terms had not appeared in any of the books he had read. On tearing off the sheets and putting them together he found the parts of the book called the Cheon-ju-sil-ui (True Meaning of the Lord of Heaven).
   The first Catholic writings had been brought into Korea by envoys or interpreters who had gone on official business to Beijing. Since Yu Chin-gil's family members had visited China as interpreters they were among those who brought back such books. However, during the persecution of 1801, when people were ordered to destroy all books on Western Learning, Yu's family used the book to repair a tattered storage chest.
   Yu Chin-gil went over the torn pages a number of times. They touched on the questions that had bothered him. But the few torn pages were not enough to satisfy him. So in the hope of finding a complete copy he began to inquire as to where he could meet Catholics. One day he met Yi Kyong-on Paul who was the younger brother of Yi Kyong-do Charles and Yi Soon-I Lutgardis who had been martyred in 1801. They had a long conversation and found that they were of the same mind. Yu borrowed True Meaning of the Lord of Heaven and other books on Western Learning. He discovered the one who created and supervised the world. It was not the basic principle that Neo-Confucianists talked about nor was it the Kong of Buddhism or the Mu of Taosim. It is the Lord who resides in Heaven. Humans have not only bodies but also souls, so when people die their bodies are disintegrated but their souls are immortal and subject to the final judgement of God.
   He got down on his knees and marveled.
   "The true nature of humans is not to grow and get fat but to burnish their soul till it becomes bright and beautiful. This indeed is the correct truth." He felt as if the eyes of his soul opened and he began to see the sun shining through dark clouds.
   He went back to Yi Paul from whom he learnt Our Father and Hail Mary as well as the Ten Commandments. Soon he was ready to enter the Church. Through a meeting of Western and Eastern thought, Yu Chin-gil solved the question that had troubled him most. He was introduced to Chung Ha-sang Paul and other Catholics.
   At that time, following the persecution of 1801 when Father Chu Mun-mo, Chinese priest sent from Beijing, was martyred, there was not a priest in Korea. The Catholics who had survived were struggling to re-establish the Church and to have another priest sent in from China. Even though he had not yet received baptism, on the instructions of Chung Ha-sang Paul, he recited morning prayer and evening prayer each day and faithfully followed the Ten Commandments.
   In October of 1824 the winter diplomatic delegation was preparing to go to China. Yu Chin-gil did not want to miss this opportunity, so he made every efforts to be included as an interpreter and to have the noble-born Chung Ha-sang Paul to accompany him disguised as a servant.
   The delegation safely arrived in Beijing. Avoiding their companions, the two Catholics slipped off to meet the Bishop of Beijing. In Chinese, Yu asked him for baptism. The Bishop was delighted to receive visitors from so far away but felt he should question Yu Chin-gil to find out how much he knew about the teachings of the Church. Yu Chin-gil replied with the answers exactly as they were in the catechism. Why are humans born into the world? To know and honor God and to save their souls...” The Bishop was amazed that such zealous and well-instructed believer could come out of a Church that was being persecuted and had no clergy. "This is indeed a miracle of God,"” he exclaimed.
   Yu Chin-gil was baptized during a special Mass. When the priest recited, "Receive and eat this. It is my body which will be offered up for you,"” he felt as if the blood of Jesus was flowing through his own veins.
He returned to his lodgings but was unable to sleep. He felt as though his heart was shining brightly in the dark room. He was moved by a deep religious experience. He knelt down and prayed.
   "God, I thank you for the wonderful way in which You have led me to baptism. Send priests to our land so that the people there who live in darkness might have the joy of receiving the Eucharist. May this foolish servant, no matter what suffering or persecution is to come, give witness to You by offering my life in Lord's work of opening the eyes of our nation. Give me the deep faith, strength and courage that I need. Amen."
(To be continued on CBCK Newsletter No.36)

No. subject Date eBook
45   CBCK Newsletter No.66 (Spring 2009)   2009-06-08
44   CBCK Newsletter No.65 (Winter 2008)   2009-02-19
43   CBCK Newsletter No.64 (Fall 2008)   2008-11-07
42   CBCK Newsletter No.63 (Summer 2008)   2008-07-15
41   CBCK Newsletter No.62 (Spring 2008)   2008-04-16
40   CBCK Newsletter No.61 (Winter 2007)   2008-01-25
39   CBCK Newsletter No.60 (Fall 2007)   2007-10-17
38   CBCK Newsletter No.59 (Summer 2007)   2007-07-23
37   CBCK Newsletter No.58 (Spring 2007)   2007-04-12
36   CBCK Newsletter No.57 (Winter 2006)   2007-01-15
35   CBCK Newsletter No.56 (Fall 2006)   2006-11-01
34   CBCK Newsletter No.55 (Summer 2006)   2006-08-28
33   CBCK Newsletter No.54 (Spring 2006)   2006-08-28
32   CBCK Newsletter No.53 (Winter 2005)   2006-01-17
31   CBCK Newsletter No.52 (Fall 2005)   2005-12-06
30   CBCK Newsletter No.51 (Summer 2005)   2005-12-06
29   CBCK Newsletter No.50 (Spring 2005)   2005-12-05
28   CBCK Newsletter No.49 (Winter 2004)   2005-12-05
27   CBCK Newsletter No.48 (Fall 2004)   2005-12-05
26   CBCK Newsletter No.47 (Summer 2004)   2005-12-05
1 / 2 / 3
 
 
04918 서울시 광진구 면목로 74  Tel: 02-460-7500 Fax: 02-460-7505 E-mail: cbck@cbck.or.kr
Copyright ⓒ CCK. All Rights Reserved