Haemi martyrdom shrine proclaimed an int'l pilgrimage site
The Haemi Martyrdom Holy Ground, a sacred Catholic site in Seosan, central South Korea, has been proclaimed an official international pilgrimage site by the Vatican, the city government said Tuesday.
The Holy See designated and proclaimed the Haemi Martyrdom Holy Ground, also known as the Shrine of Haemi, an official international pilgrimage site on March 1, according to the municipality of Seosan, a South Chungcheong Province city about 280 kilometers south of Seoul.
Last Nov. 29, the Vatican approved the Shrine of Haemi as an official international pilgrimage site and has since taken procedures for its proclamation, it noted.
The Haemi Martyrdom Holy Ground is a site where about 2,000 Catholics in the central region were buried alive during a mass persecution of Korean Catholics by the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) between 1866 and 1882.
A 16-meter memorial tower pays tribute to the nameless martyrs. There are records of the names of only 132 Korean Catholics who were martyred .
The Haemi shrine is the nation's second official international pilgrimage site proclaimed by the Vatican after the Seoul Catholic Pilgrimage Routes. It is the third of its kind in Asia.
The Vatican's other existing official international pilgrimage sites include three historical places -- Jerusalem in Israel, Rome in Italy and Santiago in Spain -- and 20 sites of Marian apparitions across the world.
"The proclamation of the Haemi Martyrdom Holy Ground as an official international pilgrimage site is a glorious event that recognizes the faith of nameless martyrs as an example and makes it known to the entire world," a Catholic priest in charge of the shrine said.
Seosan Mayor Maeng Jeong-ho said the Vatican's proclamation has recognized Seosan's historical significance, vowing efforts to more systematically preserve the sacred site.