John Yi Yun-il

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St. John Yi Yun-il (1822 – January 21, 1867) was a Korean Catholic who was killed during the 19th-century Korean persecution of Christians. He was a family man who made his living as a farmer and who also served as a catechist, i.e. a teacher of Christian religion.[1]


St. John Yi Yun-il was killed at Gwandeokjeong, a military training center in the city of Daegu in modern-day South Korea, in the course of the Joseon Dynasty's persecution of Catholics that began in 1866.[2] Though flogged until the flesh of his limbs was torn, he remained strong in the Christian faith, and he was finally decapitated.[1]


He is venerated in the Catholic Church as a martyr and was canonized as one of 103 Korean martyr saints by Saint John Paul II on May 6, 1984.[3]

He is one of two patron saints of the Archdiocese of Daegu, along with Our Lady of Lourdes.[4] His body is preserved in a chapel in the Archdiocese of Daegu. At the time of St. John's death, the site of his execution, Gwandeokjeong was used for the execution of criminals. Due to the number of Christian martyrs who were executed there, the site is now treated by the Archdiocese as a sacred place.[2]

St. John Yi Yun-il's feast day is January 21,[1] the day of his death, and he is also venerated along with the rest of the 103 Korean martyrs on September 20.[3]


  1. ^ a b c "Roman Martyrology" (in Italian). The Vatican. Retrieved 2011-09-03. 
  2. ^ a b "Archdiocese of Daegu". Diocesan Directory. UCA News. Archived from the original on 2012-06-16. Retrieved 2011-09-03. 
  3. ^ a b Butler, Alban; Burns, Paul (2000). Butler's Lives of the Saints: September. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 196. 
  4. ^ "Metropolitan Archdiocese of Daegu". Retrieved 2011-09-03. 
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