Laurent-Joseph-Marius Imbert

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St. Laurent-Joseph-Marius Imbert, M.E.P.
Saint Laurent-Marie-Joseph Imbert, M.E.P. (2).jpg
Missionary, bishop and martyr
Born (1796-03-23)23 March 1796
Marignane, Bouches-du-Rhône, France
Died 21 September 1839(1839-09-21) (aged 43)
Saenamteo, Kingdom of Joseon
Honored in
Roman Catholicism
(Korea and the Paris Foreign Missions Society)
Beatified 5 July 1925, Vatican City, by Pope Pius XI
Canonized 6 May 1984, Seoul, South Korea, by Pope John Paul II
Major shrine Saenamteo Memorial Church, Seoul, South Korea
Feast 20 September
Korean name
Hangul 범세형
Hanja 范世亨
Revised Romanization Beom Se-hyeong
McCune–Reischauer Pŏm Sehyŏng
The relics of Saint Laurent Imbert at the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, Singapore.

Saint Laurent-Joseph-Marius Imbert, M.E.P., sometimes called Laurent-Marie-Joseph Imbert and affectionately known in Korea as Bishop Imbert Bum was a French missionary bishop in Asia. Most notable among the Koreans, he was executed in the Kingdom of Joseon for his Catholic faith, and has been canonized by the Roman Catholic Church.

Biography[edit]

Imbert was born at Marignane, to parents who were residents of the hamlet of Callas, in the commune of Cabriès in the Department of Bouches-du-Rhône. When of age, he was sent to Aix to pursue his studies. According to reports, he paid his expenses by making and selling rosaries. He then enrolled at the seminary of the Paris Foreign Missions Society on 8 October 1818.[1]

On 5 March 1819 Imbert was incardinated in the Archdiocese of Paris, and ordained on 18 December of that same year, having received an indult from the Holy See due to his not having reached the legal age. He then set sail from France on 20 March 1820, bound for missionary service in China.[1]

Imbert's first stop was in Penang, Malaya, where he was asked to replace a teacher at the College General (Major Seminary), who had taken ill. He taught there from April 1821 to January 1822

During 1821, Esprit-Marie-Joseph Florens, the Vicar Apostolic of Siam, requested for him to call at Singapore. The bishop had been contemplating opening a missionary station in Singapore. He was not very certain, though, whether there was any urgency nor was he aware of the circumstances prevailing in the island. Therefore, the young missionary was to go check on the situation. He reached Singapore on 11 December 1821 and spent about a week there. Imbert might have been the first priest to celebrate Mass on the island.

In February 1822 Imbert sailed for Macau, but unable to go directly there, he spent the next two years in Tonkin, French Indochina. Only then was he able to enter China, where he spent twelve years in Sichuan and founded a seminary in Moupin.

On 26 April 1836, Imbert was appointed Vicar Apostolic of Korea and Titular Bishop of Capsa. He was consecrated on 14 May 1837 by Giacomo Luigi Fontana, M.E.P., the Vicar Apostolic of Huguang.[2] He then crossed secretly from Manchuria to Korea that same year. During this time, Korea was going through a period of Christian persecution.

On 10 August 1839, Imbert, who was secretly going about his missionary work, was betrayed. Realizing that it was only a matter of time before he was arrested and killed, he celebrated Mass and surrendered himself to those who lay in waiting for him. He was taken to Seoul where he was tortured to reveal the whereabouts of foreign missionaries. Believing that his converts would be spared if all foreign missionaries came out from hiding and gave themselves up, he wrote a note to his fellow missionaries, Pierre-Philibert Maubant and Jacques-Honoré Chastan, asking them to surrender to the Korean authorities as well.

They did and the three of them were imprisoned together. They were taken before an interrogator and questioned for three days to reveal the names and whereabouts of their converts. As torture failed to break them down, they were sent to another prison and beheaded on 21 September 1839 at Saenamteo, Korea. Their bodies remained exposed for several days but were finally buried on Nogu Mountain.

The three martyrs were one of the 79 Korean Martyrs beatified in 1925 and were among the 103 Korean Martyrs canonized by Pope John Paul II in Seoul on 6 May 1984.

The feast day of Saint Laurent Imbert is celebrated on 20 September (formerly 10 June).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Laurent Joseph Marius Imbert". Archives of the Paris Foreign Missions Society. Retrieved 30 December 2012. (French)
  2. ^ "Bishop St. Laurent-Joseph-Marius Imbert, M.E.P.". Catholic Hierarchy. Retrieved 30 December 2012. 

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]