Archbishop of Seoul Takes Titular Church in Rome Dedicated to Martyr

Recalls Thousands of Korean Martyrs; Says Giving Life Is a ‘Living Gospel’

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The Archbishop of Seoul, Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, took possession of his titular church in Rome, San Crisogono, Piazza Sonnino, on Saturday.

San Crisogono was one of the first parish churches of Rome.

The Mass was concelebrated by Monsignor Kevin Gillespie, who gave liturgical assistance to the Cardinal, and Fr. Venanzio Di Matteo, the parish priest of San Crisgono.

Around 60 Korean priests along with 300 faithful participated in the celebration. Kim Kyung-seok, the Korean ambassador to the Holy See, was also present during the Holy Mass.

Cardinal Yeom gave a homily in Italian, saying, “It is a great honor for me to celebrate Holy Mass in the church which is dedicated to martyr Saint Chrysogonus.”

“There are thousands of martyrs in my country,” Cardinal Yeom explained. He mentioned the 103 saints who were canonized in 1984 by Pope John Paul II, and the Beatification Mass of 124 martyrs presided over by Pope Francis in August this year.

“Martyrdom is a living Gospel and a testimony stronger than any words,” he said. 

Cardinal Yeom encouraged everyone to “follow the example of the martyrs” because “God has prepared a special reward for us. Before we can receive the reward, there are many obstacles that may fall in our way.”

After communion, Fr. Venanzio addressed the Cardinal on behalf of the parishioners.

“We sincerely welcome the Cardinal who came from a country of martyrs to take possession of a church dedicated to a martyr,” said Fr. Venanzio.

The day concluded with a reception for Cardinal Yeom and his guests. 

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