• Outline of Visit
  • The 6th Asian Youth Day
  • Overview of Beatification
  • Lives of the 124 Korean Martyrs
  • Mass for Peace and Reconciliation
HOME > Pilgrimage > Lives of the 124 Korean Martyrs
Rise up in splendor! (Isaiah 60,1)
Lives of the 124 Korean Martyrs
Han Sin-ae (Agatha)
Date of birth Sex woman Place of birth Boryeong Chungcheong-do Position/Status Liaison
Age Date or martyrdom Jul. 2, 1801 Place of martyrdom Small West Gate Seoul Mode of martyrdom beheading
 Agatha Han Sin-ae was born out of wedlock to a noble family in Boryeong, Chungcheong-do. After she grew up, she became the second wife of Jo Rye-san in Seoul. Then around 1795 or 1796 she came to know about the Catholic teaching through Columba Kang Wan-suk.
   Then Agatha Han earnestly learned the catechism with her step-daughter, and became a Catholic. She frequented Columba Kang‘s house and helped Candida Jeong Bok-hye with Church works. She also sent her maid So-myeong to Columba Kang to learn the catechism. It was in the summer of 1800 that she was baptized by Father James Zhou Wen-mo.
   Agatha Han endeavored to spread the Gospel to other families and servants around her, and introduced them to the Church, but it was not easy. Then she invited two male catechists and asked them to introduce her servants to the Church. Her wish did not come true because of her son. Meanwhile, she proclaimed the Gospel to many women around her, including Juliana Kim Yeon-i. She formed a women`s community with Columba Kang and directed it.
   When the Shinyu Persecution broke out in 1801, Candida Jeong collected all the religious books and articles and brought them to Agatha Han, who hid them in her warehouse. However, very soon, her name was given to the persecutors and she was arrested along with other Catholic companions.
   Agatha Han was then taken to the Justice Ministry for investigation. The judge interrogated her to force her to renounce God but she stood firm and did not reveal the names of any of the believers. She was sentenced to death with eight other Catholics including Columba Kang and Juliana Kim.
   On July 2, 1801 (May 22, by the Lunar calendar) they were taken outside the Small West Gate in Seoul, beheaded and died martyrs. The written death sentence of the Justice Ministry reads as follows:
   "Han Sin-ae was deeply imbued with the Catholic religion and practiced it for many years. She was associated with Kang Wan-suk, she visited Zhou Wen-mo and was baptized by him receiving a Christian name. However, she was never ashamed of such offensive behavior. Furthermore, she even invited groups of men and women to her house, as well as hiding religious books and articles in her warehouse. When she was arrested, she said; `I will never regret what I have done though I have to die ten thousand times`."