By Michael J. ARVIZU
St. Bede the Venerable Catholic Church celebrated the feast day of Korean Martyrs on Sept. 16 with a tea and Korean food tasting, and public demonstration of a traditional tea and wedding ceremony.
Celebrated each year on Sept. 20, the feast day of Korean Martyrs honors 103 Korean saints who were martyred for their Catholic faith in major persecutions by the government in 1839, 1846 and 1866. Over 8,000 faithful are believed to have been killed in those persecutions. Pope John Paul II canonized the 103 Korean martyrs en mass in 1984.
St. Bede’s celebration focused not only on honoring the saints, but also on introducing the parish community to Korean culture, said St. Bede celebration volunteer Catharina Yim.
“Every year we have different ceremonies after Mass,” Yim said. “This tea ceremony is for the respect of worship only to God. This tea ceremony is to God and the saints.”
The Korean ceremonies are a blend of Korean and Catholic tradition, Yim said.
“We want them to know how we were accepted in Korea,” said volunteer Maria Ahn. “It was very hard.”