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  • 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
Sin Tae-bo (Peter)
Date of birth 1769 Sex man Place of birth Gyeonggi-do Position/Status Lay leader
Age 70 Date or martyrdom May 29, 1839 Place of martyrdom Jeonju Jeolla-do Mode of martyrdom beheading
 Peter Sin Tae-bo was born near Yongin, Gyeonggi-do and became a Catholic around 1795. Nothing is known about his family, but his later achievements would indicate that he had some education.
   Ten years after the Catholic Church was established in Korea, Peter Sin became a Catholic with his cousin John Yi Yeo-jin. They desired to meet Father James Zhou Wen-mo to receive the Sacraments, but it was not possible because Father James Zhou kept his activities secret.
   When the Shinyu Persecution of 1801 was over, Peter Sin moved to Gangwon-do to live with the martyrs’ families in Yongin. They formed a Catholic community there. Then he contacted other Catholics including his cousin John and started to discuss the question of rebuilding the Church again. What seemed to them most urgent was to invite priests from Beijing. At the end of 1811 John Yi went to Beijing with another believer to deliver two letters written by Catholics.
   The Korean Catholics’ movement to invite priests went on for a long time after this. Peter Sin made every possible effort to prepare the necessary expenses. However, their wish to invite priests did not come true. Peter Sin who resolved to save souls went from one place to another to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ. Finally he settled down in Jatgol, Sangju, Gyeongsang-do and lived as a hermit. He transcribed the Catholic books and distributed them to the believers.
   Soon after the Jeonghae Persecution broke out in 1827 in the Jeolla-do region Peter Sin heard about it. He prepared to escape with his family to a safe place, but the police who were dispatched from Jeonju and Sangju found him before he could escape.
   Through the faithful who had been arrested before him, the police found out where Peter Sin lived and that he had transcribed Church books and distributed them to the believers. He was immediately taken to Jeonju, and went through severe interrogations and torture. His story was recorded in The prison journal that he wrote at the request of Father St. J. Chastan. The following text shows the severity of the punishment he endured to defend his faith and religion:
   “My leg bones were all broken and covered with wounds. I could neither sit nor eat. My wounds festered so much that the smell from them was unbearable. Furthermore, my prison cell was full of worms and lice and nobody dared to come near me. Fortunately, some healthy Catholics helped me to move, and cleaned my cell sometimes. I do not know how to thank them for their fraternal love and kindness."
   Despite these severe punishments Peter Sin never revealed the whereabouts of his fellow Catholics nor the place where the Catholic books were hidden. When the chief official tried to force him to betray the Catholic religion, he answered, "Without the Catholic religion we cannot correct our sensual desires."
   The governor had no choice but to imprison him with other Catholics. He was forced to stay in prison in Jeonju for twelve years. He sometimes lost courage and his spirit became weak, but he overcame everything with his faith in God. After the Gihae Persecution broke out in 1839, he was taken out to the market place in Jeonju and beheaded according to the king`s order and died a martyr. It was on May 29, 1839 (April 17, by the Lunar calendar). Peter Sin was around 70 years old.