Asia/Korea – A film about St. Andrew Kim, a pioneer of human dignity and equality between men
Daejeon (Agenzia Fides) – “The film ‘A Birth’ tells the story of the life of Saint Andrew Kim Taegon. Our saint’s example and virtues raise spiritual questions about how we live today. The title of the film is St. Andrew Kim in our hearts is none other than the resurrection and life of Christ in each of us.” This is the Father. Paolo Lee Yong-ho, priest of Daejeon Diocese and former rector of Solmeo Sanctuary, birthplace of St. The release of a film dedicated to him who told. Titled Birth, the film traces the life of Korea’s first clergyman and martyr, as well as the flowering of Christianity on the Korean Peninsula. Born in 1821 into a family of Christian converts, Andrew traveled to Macau to study, and later he became the first Catholic priest in Korea to be ordained in Shanghai in 1845. After his return, he was persecuted and arrested by the Joseon Dynasty for his missionary work, and was martyred in 1846 at the age of just 25.
Written and directed by film director Park Heung-sik and co-produced by Korea’s Catholic Cultural Center ‘Arma Art’, the film will hit theaters in South Korea on November 30th. The cleric, who was Bishop Ota, supported the project on the occasion of the saint’s 200th birthday celebrated last year.
From this anniversary, Fr. Paolo Lee Yongho said:
As part of that, the Church of Korea wanted to promote a film about the spirituality and life of Saint Andrew Kim,” he explains.
The monk recalls that more than 200 years ago, the Korean peninsula was under the rule of the Joseon Dynasty, a feudal society ordered by caste. At that time, the Joseon Dynasty had a policy of national isolation. At the same time, infectious diseases such as cholera and smallpox spread throughout the country through diplomats traveling to and from China.
“At that time,” he continues, “there were young men seeking the truth. In 1784, young Koreans went to China to learn the Catholic Faith. In response to this desire, French missionaries selected Andrea Kim and two other young men and sent them to Macao, China. “.
It was a fruitful Christian journey for them. God the Father. Therefore, they became convinced that the people of Korea could be saved by giving this truth. This is what gave impetus to Andrew’s mission. Andrew Kim was a pioneer of human dignity, spreading the truth that in caste-ordered societies, all men and women are equal and have the same dignity. and in societies that push their inequalities to the extreme. This has led to a culture that disrespects human life.” “When he returned to the Joseon Kingdom as a monk, he remembered abandoning his noble caste and trying to live on equal terms with everyone. He was a man who preached a faith in and opposed feudalism in the name of the dignity of all men made in the image of God.”
This approach is highly topical, he notes. For example, it is from this reflection that the shared vaccines movement, which shares the life and love of God, was born,” says Father Lee.
The priest pointed out yet another aspect. world. He experienced and promoted the need for academic and cultural exchanges for a better world. He was also the first to write the name of the capital of the Korean Kingdom with the correct name of Seoul. Knowing how to take good things, he learned and popularized measures to prevent epidemics such as cholera and smallpox, contributing to the good of the Korean people. Reflecting on his life today “is an opportunity to rediscover and renew the message that the church in Korea still has so much to say to the modern world”. (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 2022 November 26)