Our Lady of Peace
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Mary Choe, the wife of Joseph Kim Seon-yang who died a martyr at Hongju in 1866.
It seems that she learned the catechism along with her family and became Catholic in 1838 after she married Joseph.

Mary moved to Sieogol, Gosan (present-day Semok of Daeseong-ri, Yeosan-myeon, Iksan-si, Jeonbuk) with her in-laws and suffered from the Gihae Persecution in 1839. At that time, her husband Joseph was arrested by the police and then released. Her family moved to Jinjam, Chungcheong-do (present-day Jinjam-dong, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon-si) and then to Yakbawi, Jeonju (present-day Hwasim-ri, Soyang-myeon, Wanju-gun, Jeonbuk). There her family was persecuted again, So they moved to Gongju. After a few years, the family moved to Gangdangri, Seosan (present-day Yonghyeon-ri, Unsan-myeon, Seosan-si, Chungnam) and preached their faith there. About six years after Mary’s family settled in Gangdangri, in 1866, the Byeongin Persecution broke out. At the beginning of the persecution, her family fled to the mountains and then returned.

On November 9 (October 3 by the lunar calendar) of the same year, the catechist in Gangdangri was arrested and then on December 13 (November 7 by the lunar calendar), the police of Hongju raided and arrested the remaining Catholics in the village. At that time, her husband Joseph Kim Seon-yang and her son John were arrested along with other Catholics and transferred to Hongju.

On December 27, 1866 (November 21 by the lunar calendar) Mary’s husband Joseph died a martyr by hanging. Her son John was released and then arrested again. As John escaped while being transferred to Hongju, the police arrested Mary in place of him. The police imposed a severe punishment on Mary while asking her the whereabouts of her son, and “From whom did you learn the Catholic religion?” However, she remained silent. Her daughter-in-law Mary Yi witnessed to the faith instead of her and was transferred to Hongju along with her.

As they arrived in the Hongju military base, the chief commander received reports from the policemen and then sent Mary Choe and her daughter-in-law Mary Yi to prison. Three days later, he ordered that Mary Choe be dragged out from the prison and be executed by hanging on January 22, 1867 (December 17, 1866 by the lunar calendar). Right before her martyrdom, Mary Choe asked a jailer, “Please release my daughter-in-law Mary Yi as she is in prison instead of me” and she witnessed to the faith by saying, “Jesus and Holy Mary, I turn to You.”