• 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
Jeong Tae-bong (Paul)
Date of birth 1796 Sex man Place of birth Deoksan Chungcheong-do Position/Status
Age 43 Date or martyrdom May 29, 1839 Place of martyrdom Jeonju Jeolla-do Mode of martyrdom beheading
 Paul Jeong Tae-bong was born in 1796 in Deoksan, Chungcheong-do. His parents died when he was a little boy and he grew up at his uncle‘s house. His adult name was `Man-bo`, but he was known by the name of `Tae-bong`. Peter Jeong San-pil who was martyred in 1799 was his cousin.
   Modest and kind by nature, Paul Jeong underwent all the hardships of an orphan. When he was old enough to be self-supporting, he moved to Yongdam village in Jeolla-do.
   At that time Paul Jeong had already accepted the Catholic religion and practiced its teaching faithfully. He always tried to perform his duty. He had such a strong desire to learn the doctrine that once he opened a book, he would read it to the end. Meantime, he had a desire to die a martyr. He thought that he might save his life by martyrdom.
   Upon hearing about the Jonghae Persecution in 1827, three years after he settled in Yongdam, he hid himself not to be imprudent. However, an informer who knew that Paul Jeong often dropped into his home, reported it secretly to the government office. The police immediately rushed into his house and arrested him.
   It is said that the warrant of the police bore another person`s name. But Paul Jeong did not want to escape the danger and followed the police to the Yongdam government office. He was transferred to Jeonju after being interrogated and tortured.
   Paul Jeong was interrogated and tortured two more times at the Jeonju governor`s office. The chief official, on realizing that he would never reveal the names of the faithful nor betray his religion, ordered that he be imprisoned. Paul Jeong was forced to remain in prison with Job Yi Il-eon and Peter Kim Dae-gwon for twelve years. During that period he signed his written sentence of death three times thus refusing to save his life.
   The judicial decision of the royal court for Paul Jeong and his companions was given during the Gihae Persecution in 1839. Upon hearing the news that the royal court approved their death sentence, they gave thanks to God with joy. Paul Jeong was afraid that his heart would become weak when he would see his wife and children, so he asked the prison officers not to allow them to come to the execution ground.
   Paul Jeong was taken to the execution ground and beheaded with his companions and they died martyrs. It was on May 29, 1839 (April 17, by the Lunar calendar). Paul Jeong was 43 years old.
   The following is an excerpt from the written sentence of death that the Justice Ministry reported to the royal court:
   "Jeong Tae-bong was so completely obsessed by evil and vainglorious words that he blindly believed them. He even abolished the ancestral rites. Therefore, we are going to execute him according to the national law."