Posted by: rbbadger | January 6, 2009

Myeongdong Cathedral Restored

A while back, I posted a photo of Myeong-dong Cathedral on the occasion of National Liberation Day (August 15), the day that not only commemorates the liberation of Korea from Japan, but was also the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the foundation of the Republic of Korea.  Here is how the cathedral appeared during the time of the restoration work done to the tower.

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Restoration work was mostly completed in time for Christmas.  There are a few things that still need to be done, but at least now the Cathedral can be appreciated in all of its slpendour.

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Myeong-dong Cathedral plays a very important part in Korean history.  One of the earliest Catholic communities in Seoul was founded in Myeong-dong and not a few of their number were martyred for the faith.  Buried in the crypt are the relics of several martyrs including St. Laurent-Marie Imbert, M.E.P., the first Catholic bishop in Korea.  During the struggles for democracy in the 1980s, the priests of the Cathedral sheltered a number of the democracy protestors from the police.  So, it has played an important role in helping Korea become the democracy that it is.  It is the mother church of the Seoul Archdiocese, but in a special way, it is also the mother church of all of Korean Catholicism because of its historic role in the formation of the Catholic Church in Korea.

A hundred years has passed since this magnificent church was built by French missionaries.  As far as modern western-style buildings go, this is quite possibly the most glorious one in the entire city.

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