The Lives of the 103 Martyr Saints of Korea
Saint Anna Kim Chang-gum
Anna Kim Chang-gum was arrested on April 8, 1839, at the age of 51. Anna was born into a Catholic family. She lost her husband when she was young, and was living with her mother in poverty. She spent her time in fervent prayers.
There is little recorded about Anna. It is known, however, that she was taken outside the Small West Gate with seven other Catholics, and all of them were beheaded there on July 20, 1839. Anna was 51 years old when she was crowned with martyrdom.
Saint Sebastianus Nam I-gwan
Sebastianus Nam I-gwan was born into a noble family. His parents became Catholic at the end of the 18th century. His mother died when he was still young. His father was arrested in 1801 and died in exile. Sebastianus was about 20 years old at that time. While he was in exile in Danseong, Gyeongsang Province, he got married. He was not baptized yet, and he could recite only the Our Father and Hail Mary. Since he had no children, he took a concubine without knowing that it was wrong. At the age of 40, when he was very ill, he was baptized and let the concubine go. A few years later he was released from exile and went to Uiju with Paulus Chong Ha-sang and his group to bring Chinese Father Yu to Korea. Sebastianus became Father Yu's assistant and let him stay in his house.
At the beginning of the persecution, Catechist Sebastianus left Seoul for the countryside for some unknown reason. According to witnesses he was too well known to evade arrest. He was preparing himself in prayer for the trials of prison. He was arrested in Icheon, Gyeonggi Province. An apostate reported his hiding place to the police and led a group of policemen to arrest him. The police chief tortured him and demanded that he give up his religion, but Sebastianus did not budge. He was twisted and beaten during three different interrogations.
Just before he was taken out for execution, he asked one of the guards of the women's prison to tell his wife that he would go first and wait for her in Heaven. Sebastianus was beheaded with eight other Catholics outside the Small West Gate on September 26, 1839. He was 60 years old when he became a martyr.
Saint Iulietta Kim (1784~1839)
Iulietta Kim was born in the countryside. Her parents were highly praised by Bishop Ferréol as an outstanding couple. The whole family later moved to Seoul. Her parents wanted her to get married, but Iulietta wanted to live as a virgin and refused to be married. In order to prove her resoluteness, she had her hair cut. The parents finally said that they would decide when her hair grew out again.
When the persecution of 1801 broke out, her family returned to their country home. Iulietta quietly escaped and became a servant in the royal court. Since it was difficult for her to practice her religion in the royal court, she came out of there and went to a Catholic home to live. She made some money by weaving and bought a small house for herself. She had a strong will, and people respected her strictness in words and deeds. She did her best in prayers and meditations. People used to say that Iulietta might never have committed a sin. She was always ready to be arrested.
The police chief made the usual demand that she deny God and reveal where the Catholics and the Catholic books were hidden. Of course, Iulietta refused the demand of the police chief, and she was beaten very severely. In the higher court she was severely beaten again on three different occasions. She admirably endured all the tortures and pains.
Iulietta was finally beheaded with eight other Catholics outside the Small West Gate on September 26, 1839. She was 56 years old when she was martyred.