Immaculate Conception in Korea
Mary, under the title of The Immaculate Conception, is the Patroness of Korea. Pope Pius X in his encyclical, Ad Diem Illum Laetissimum, wrote “the Most Blessed Virgin Mary in the first instant of her conception was free from all stain of original sin.”
Catholicism in Korea was founded by the laity. Korean Confucian scholars visited China in 1784. The scholars became Christians after they read Christian readings that they had found in Beijing. The laity in Korea remained steadfast in the faith and shared it with others.
In 1837, Bishop Imbert asked the Holy See to have our Blessed Mother, under the title of her Immaculate Conception, as the Patroness of Korea. It was not until 1846 that Bishop Ferréol consecrated the people and the Church in Korea to Mary, our Blessed Mother during a time of great persecution.
Korean Catholics have a beautiful and strong devotion to Our Lady. In Korea, the month of May is a time in which our Blessed Mother is honored in many ways. Various parishes will host a special vigil dedicated to Our Lady that may include Mass, the Holy Rosary, hymns, and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Locally, St. Andrew Kim Parish, a Korean Catholic community in Olney, Maryland, hosted “Mary’s Night” on Saturday, May 21, 2016. The evening honored our Lady with Mass, musical performances that included a violinist, cellist and choir, the Holy Rosary and an offering of candles and roses.
Mother of all individuals and all peoples, you know all the pains and hopes of everyone. As Mother you know the struggle between light and darkness, good and evil, which is taking place in the world and within our own hearts.
You bore Jesus, the Son of Man and the Son of God, in whom the people of Korea, in wondrous joy, but also through much suffering, have found “the way, the truth, and the life”.
O Mother of mercy, we now entrust to your loving heart the entire people and the Church of this land. Keep us from all injustice, division, violence, and war.
Keep us from temptation and from the bondage of sin and evil.
Be with us! Help us to overcome doubt with belief, selfishness with service, pride with meekness, hatred with love. Help us to live the Gospel with the “foolishness” of the Cross, bearing witness to Jesus who died on it, so that we may rise with your Son unto true life with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit.
O Mother of Christ, comfort and give strength to all those who suffer: the poor, the lonely, the sick, the unloved, the downtrodden, the forgotten.
Bless us! Pray for us, together with Saint Joseph, and unite us all in love. Give peace to our divided land, and the light of hope to all. Show us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus! Amen.
-St. John Paul II, Seoul (Korea), May 6th, 1984