Saturday, May 30, 2015

I was clicking through the calendar of saints on the train this morning and there weren't any who caught my eye until my gaze came at last to rest on the name of Blessed Jacob Chu  Mun-mo. As it turns out he's from Suzhou,. which is just a few miles from Wuxi, and just a few more from Shanghai. He went to the seminary in Beijing. and was the first priest to go to Korea. I guess he didn't speak Korean when he got there because he didn't conduct his first mass until the next year, Easter Sunday 1795. Apparently he was a hard worker and increased the church. He spent a lot of time in hiding, but died a martyr, having turned himself in so that the authorities would stop arresting others in their efforts to find him. The Korean government thought he was a spy and that Christianity was subversive. So, they were right about one thing, but I doubt Jacob Chu was a spy. It speaks to his witness, though, that Christianity was thought to be subversive while he was there. I would like to have known him.

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