The Korean Episcopal Conference has unanimously approved the preliminary review of the martyrdom of Bishop Francis Borgia Hong Yong-ho of Pyongyang and his 80 companions, who died at the hands of the regime of Kim Il-sung.
According to AsiaNews, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints approved the application opening their beatification cause. Since then, documents, eyewitness accounts, and relics have been collected. Analysis of the information gathered is set to begin this November.
Appointed Apostolic Vicar of Pyongyang in 1933, Bishop Hong Yong-ho, along with a group of priests and lay people, were taken into custody in 1949 after the division of the Korean peninsula.
Survivor accounts say that the Korean prelate would often encourage his companions and share his food with those who were sicker than himself.
“The greatest privilege of my life, after the gift of the priesthood, is to have suffered for Christ with all of you,” Bishop Hong Yong-ho told those suffering with him, one day before his death of pneumonia.