The Lives of the 103 Martyr Saints of Korea
The Lives of the 103 Martyr Saints of Korea 44, 45
Saint Lucy Kim Nusia (1818~1839)
Lucy Kim was a charming young woman with talent, courage and gracefulness. When her parents died, she had to sell all her property to pay for their funeral expenses. After that she lived with a Catholic family, and she made a vow of virginity.
When the persecution broke out, Lucy and three other pious women decided to give themselves up to the government authorities to profess their faith. Lucy was the youngest but was the leader of the group. Lucy did not lose her composure during the interrogations and tortures.
"Can you, such a beautiful woman, believe the Catholic religion?"
"Yes, I truly believe the religion."
"Deny your God, and you will save your life."
"My God is the Father of all creatures. How can I deny my King and my Father? I cannot do that even if I have to die ten thousand times."
"Why are you not married?"
"I am still only about 20 years old. It is not strange that a girl of my age is not yet married. It is not proper for a young woman to talk about her own marriage."
"Are you not afraid to die?"
"Yes, I am afraid to die. But I would rather die than deny my Lord."
"Where is the soul you are talking about?"
"It is in a human body. It is spiritual and invisible."
"Did you see God?"
"No, I did not. Can't a country man, who has never seen the king, believe that there is a king? When I see all the creatures on earth, I know that there is a Creator."
The police chief tried many kinds of persuasion and torture for a long period of time, but he could not make her weaken. On the contrary, he was embarrassed. The executioners, who saw her composure, thought that she might have been possessed by a ghost.
Lucy and other women had to suffer hunger, thrist and other hardships in prison for several weeks even after they were sentenced to death. Lucy had beautiful hair. She had it cut and sold it. With the money she bought some food that she shared with her fellow inmates. Lucy wrote a letter to one of her friends, in which she said: "I thank God for being sentenced to death after severe tortures and pains. I don't know when the Lord will call me. Please pray for us, and follow us to Heaven. We are waiting to be called by the Lord."
Lucy was beheaded outside the Small West Gate with seven other Catholics on July 20, 1839. She was 22 years old when her heavenly spouse took her to Heaven.
St. John Pak Hu-jae (1799 ~ 1839)
John Pak Hu-jae was a son of the martyr Laurence Pak. John was born in Youngin in 1798 or 1799. Later he came up to Seoul with his family, and made his living by making straw shoes.
His wife testified about his outstanding virtues. John was very faithful in practicing his religion and was a very hard working man. He used to say: "I must die as a martyr in order to save my soul." As a mortification for love of God, he used to hit his shins with a club used for making straw shoes. John used to tell his wife to endure any pains for the sake of salvation. He used to say: "An old saint saw a worm crawling out of his wound, and put it back to the wound, saying 'your food is here.' We must suffer our pains." In March of 1839, when the persecution broke out, he was not frightened. There was no money at home. John sold a large earthenware pot and divided the money into two, keeping one half for himself and giving the other half to his wife for emergency use. He told his wife to spend the night at the home of his aunt. Next day she learned that her husband had been arrested.
He was interrogated by the judge.
"Are your parents still living?"
"My mother passed away a few years ago. My father was beheaded for his faith in 1801. There are no other relatives."
"Do you know that you are violating the king's law?"
"God is my Creator. I owe greater loyalty to God than to the king."
"Reveal your accomplices."
"I can do no harm to others."
"Deny your faith, if you want to live."
"My religion is more important than my life."
John was beaten with a cudgel 40 times. His flesh was torn off and blood spurted out. The noise of the cudgel crushing his bones frightened others in prison. But John was steadfast in his faith.
John was finally beheaded outside the Small West Gate on September 3, 1839, with five other Catholics. He was 41 years old when he was beheaded.