• 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
Kim Hwa-chun (James)
Date of birth Sex man Place of birth Cheongyang Chungcheong-do Position/Status
Age Date or martyrdom Dec. 19, 1816 Place of martyrdom Daegu Gyeongsang-do Mode of martyrdom beheading
 James Kim Hwa-chun was born in Sudani, Cheongyang, Chungcheong-do (now, Sinwang-ri, Sayang-myeon, Cheongyang-gun, Chungnam), and lived in Cheongra-dong, Boryeong (now, Cheongra-ri, Cheongra-myeon, Boryeong-gun, Chungnam). Peter Kim Dae-gwon who was martyred in Jeonju in 1839 was his elder brother.
   By nature James Kim was modest and patient. He and his elder brother learned the catechism from their father at a young age. When he grew up, he served the Lord and devoted himself to the salvation of souls in an outstanding way. He faithfully observed the Church`s teaching, prayed and read the Bible. He was an example to the other believers. He then moved to Cheongsong, Gyeongsang-do, in search of greater religious freedom.
   When the Eulhae Persecution broke out in 1815, the Gyeongju police went around Cheongsong area to search for Catholics. James Kim was arrested with other Catholics, and they were taken to Gyeongju. He refused all kinds of temptations from the chief official with tenacity, and overcame severe punishment with his unshakable faith in God. From Gyeongju he was transferred to Daegu with Peter Ko Seong-dae and Barbara Ku Seong-yeol and imprisoned.
   After several months in prison in Daegu, James Kim was taken to the governor and went through severe interrogations and torture. Despite all these trials, he never showed any fear, and firmly kept his faith in God. The governor finally gave up the attempt to make him deny his religion, and pronounced the death sentence on him. The written sentence reads as follows:
   "Kim Hwa-chun learned about the Catholic religion from his father. They have committed great crimes, generation after generation. Foolish and ignorant, they heard the Catholic teachings with their ears and memorized them with their mouths. They deeply believed in these evil words. Despite repeated punishment and torture, he swore he would die for God without any regret. His wickedness and maliciousness are extreme."
   James Kim had to stay in prison for a long time. By order of the king he was beheaded and died a martyr in Daegu, with other companions, on December 19, 1816 (November 1, by the Lunar calendar).
   His body was buried near the execution ground. On March 2 of the following year, some relatives and believers buried it again in an appropriate place.