Saenamteo Martyrs Shrine

Saenamteo, Seul, Južna Koreja

Website of the Sanctuary

02-716-1?91

Every day: from 10:00 to 17:00 (Tuesday closed)

A Brief History of the Saenamteo Martyrs Shrine

Saenamteo is situated on a stretch of land between the old southern fortress wall of Seoul and the Han River. From the beginning of the Yi Dynasty this site was used as a military training ground and as an execution site for major criminals as well as for those who committed treasonable offences.

During the four major persecutions of Catholics in Korea(called the Sinyu, Gihae, Byung-o, Byung-in persecutions) many priests and laymen gave affirmation to their faith by shedding their blood at this site. Among were in 1801 the Chinese priest Mun-Mo Ju, the first Catholic priest in Korea and in 1846, father Andreas Tae-Gon Kim, the first natiye Korean priest. Eleven of those martyred here had been canonized, adding glory and honor to this holy ground.

The Catholic Church in Korea designated Saenamteo as a Saenamteo Martyrs’ Shrine in 1950 and erected the Monument of the Catholic Martyrs’ in 1956, from the next year, Clerical Congregation of the Blessed Korean Martyrs has maintained the Shrine.

In 1981 the Saenamteo Church was established by Archdiocese of Seoul and in 1987, Clerical Congregation of the Blessed Korean Martyrs completed the building of the present memorial Church in traditional Korean architectural style. Currently, 9 martyrs who passed away at the site arresting at Saenamteo Church.

The Saenamteo is a place where the Joseon dynasty used to execute a political offence. Fr. Ju Mun-Mo (James) happened to be the first martyr of Saenamteo, as he were decapitated here, in May 31, 1801, which is called the Shin-Yu persecution in a Korean history. In 1893 (the Gi-Hae persecution), Fr. Imbert, the second archbishop of the Joseon Diocese also died a martyr with Fr. Maubant and Fr. Chastan here in Saenamteo.

Increasing oppression on Catholicism such as Byeong-Oh (1946) and Byeong-In (1866) persecution, brought about a series of martyrs: the first Korean priest, Fr. Kim Dae-Geon(Andrew), Hyeon Seok-Mun (Charles), the fourth archbishop Fr. Berneux, Fr. Bretenieres, Fr. Beaulieu, Fr. Dorie, Fr. Petitnicolas, Fr. Pourthie, Jeong Ui-Bae (Mark), and U Se-Yeong (Alexio).

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The Saenamteo church opened the Saenamteo Martyrs’ Shrine, September 3, 2006, to make the martyrs widely known, proclaim their faiths and encourage all Christians to live the spirit of martyrdom.

Four Major persecutions

Shin-Yu persecution 1801
It started with the religion prohibition order by the Queen Mother,Jeongsun, in 1801. The first priest for the Korean diocese, Fr. Mun-Mo and other Christian leaders were martyred during this persecution. This persecution was detrimental to the Korean church. Whang Sa-Yeong lamented in his letter, “The Korean church, now, cannot survive anv longer even without further persecutions.”

Gi-Hae persecution 1839
Gi-Hae persecution lasted from March (a lunar month) of 1839 to October of the vear. 70 victims of this persecution were included in 103 saints of Korea. This persecution was interrelated with 30 year political power struggles between Pungvang Jo and Andon- Kim family and local officers’ corruption. This persecution brought about martyrs: the second archbishop, Fr. Imbert, some priests, Jeong Ha-Sang Paul, Hyeon Seok-Mun Charles, and others. Gi-Hae Diary reported that 54 Christians were beheaded and 60 died in prison, while Dale’s Church History simply noted that the number of martyrs amount to more than 70.

Byeong-Oh persecution 1846
This persecution was initiated with the arrest of Fr. Kim Dae-Geon Andrew, in June, 1846, and ended in September of the vear. Fr. Kim was arrested in Deungsanjin, Sunwido, when contacting a Chinese ship to open a new nautical road for missionary works. The Joseon Dynasty took an issue with Fr.Kim. The Dynasty started oppressing Christians because they were worried about foreign forces out of control. Fr. Kim and Hveon Seok-Mun were decapitated and Lim Chi-Baek and others were beaten to death.

Byeong-In persecution 1866
This persecution was the most terrible one in terms of cruelty and number in the Korean church history. It started in 1866(King Gojong 8th year) and finished in 1873 when Heungseon Daewongun resigned in the political world. Heungseon Daewongun kept persecuting Catholicism, which ended up with about one thousand martyrs out of over all twenty three thousand Christians.

24 martyrs of this persecution were canonized, counted among 103 saints group of Korea. The series of persecutions developed martyrdom faith and piety in Korea. The persecutions and martyrdom of early Christianity made a strong foundation for a contemporary Korean church.

Transportations

Bus
Take a shuttle bus (0017, green) and take off at the “Saenamteo” bus stop. Or you can take any bus heading Youngsan and get off at “Dacom Ap” station. Saenamteo is within 10 mins walking distance from the station. Turn to the right at the intersection of the Han River Bridge.

Subway
If you take Subway Line 1, take off at Yongsan. If you take Subway Line 4, get off at Sin-Yongsan (exit 4). Then, walk on about 15 mins. Or you can take a shuttle bus from there to Saenamteo.

Shuttle Bus
Take a shuttle bus (001?, green), which is going to Yichon-dong, at the Yongsan Subway station. You can be right here at Saenamteo Seongdang Ap”bus stop.

Car
Head from Seobu Yichon-dong to Daerim APT. Turn left alongside with railroad soundproofing walls.

 

  • Monday – 6 am, 3 pm
  • Tuesday~Wednesday – 3 pm, 7 pm
  • Thursday~Friday – 10 am, 3 pm
  • Saturday – 3 pm, 6 pm (Vigil Mass)
  • Sunday – 6 am, 9 am (children), 10:30 am (for all), 6 pm (youths and young adults)

A Brief History of the Saenamteo Martyrs’ Shrine

Saenamteo is situated on a stretch of land between the old southern fortress wall of Seoul and the Han River. From the beginning of the Yi Dynasty this site was used as a military training ground and as an execution site for major criminals as well as for those who committed treasonable offences.

During the four major persecutions of Catholics in Korea(called the Sinyu, Gihae, Byung-o, Byung-in persecutions) many priests and laymen gave affirmation to their faith by shedding their blood at this site. Among were in 1801 the Chinese priest Mun-Mo Ju, the first Catholic priest in Korea and in 1846, father Andreas Tae-Gon Kim, the first natiye Korean priest. Eleven of those martyred here had been canonized, adding glory and honor to this holy ground.

The Catholic Church in Korea designated Saenamteo as a Saenamteo Martyrs’ Shrine in 1950 and erected the Monument of the Catholic Martyrs’ in 1956, from the next year, Clerical Congregation of the Blessed Korean Martyrs has maintained the Shrine. In 1981 the Saenamteo Church was established by Archdiocese ofSeoul and in 1987, Clerical Congregation of the Blessed Korean Martyrs completed the building of the present memorial Church in traditional Korean architectural style. Currently, 9 martyrs who passed away at the site areresting at Saenamteo Church.

Posted in Asia & Oceania and South Korea