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Newly named S Korean Vatican prelate to celebrate Korea’s 1st priest


Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 08/20/21

Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy will remember the 200th centenary of St. Andrew Kim Tae-gon with Mass at St. Peter's.

Archbishop Lazzaro You Heung-sik, the prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, will celebrate a memorial Mass for the 200th birth anniversary of St. Andrew Kim Tae-gon, the first Korean native Catholic priest, at St. Peter’s on Saturday.

Pope Francis named Archbishop You, 69, former bishop of Daejeon, as Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy in June.

The new prefect welcomed Pope Francis to his diocese during the Pope’s trip to Korea in August 2014.

Korea’s first priest

St. Andrew Kim Tae-gon was born August 21, 1821, in Dangjin, about 75 miles south of Seoul. He was ordained in 1845, but was killed for being a Christian the following year, at age 25.

He was canonized by John Paul II in 1984. His feast day is September 20.

Korean Catholic priests and faithful along with South Korean Ambassador to Vatican Choo Kyu-ho, will be at the Mass.

“It is a divine providence that I’m able to dedicate a Mass celebrating the 200th birth anniversary of St. Andrew Kim Tae-gon at St. Peter’s Basilica,” You told Yonhap News Agency on Wednesday.

Pope Francis is expected to send a message to the congregation.

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