Martin In Eon-min (1737-1800)
Martin In Eon-min was born in 1737 in Jurae, Deoksan, Chungcheong-do (now, Yongdong-ri, Sapgyo-eup, Yesan-gun, Chungnam) to a noble family. He was a gentle person but had a strong character. From the time he was young he studied diligently and acquired a great amount of knowledge. One day he heard about Catholicism from Alexius Hwang Sa-yeong, one of his best friends and soon he began to learn the catechism from him. He went to Seoul and was baptized by Father James Zhou Wen-mo.
Martin In asked his eldest son Joseph to stay with Father James Zhou. His second son married the daughter of a renowned Catholic. In order to live his religious life more freely he renounced his home and possessions and moved to Gongju. He openly explained to his relatives, who thought his behavior was strange, why he had moved. He told them all about the Catholic teaching. They did not listen to him.
Martin In was arrested when the Jeongsa Persecution that broke out in 1797 was in full swing in Gongju area. There he confessed without hesitation that he was a Catholic and wanted to give his life to the Lord. He was transferred to Cheongju and was severely tortured. After that the governor ordered that he be transferred to Haemi, his hometown.
He was so severely punished in Cheongju that he could hardly walk. So he was obliged to ride on a horse when being taken to Haemi, though it was a custom that a horse was used only for public officials.
In the Haemi prison Martin In met a young Christian whose name was Francis Yi Bo-hyeon. They prayed together and encouraged each other to be faithful to the Lord. Despite all kinds of punishments, they confessed their faith in God with unshakable faith. The magistrate, on realizing that they would not change their minds, gave orders to beat both of them to death.
According to the custom the prison guards gave Martin In his last meal, then they took him out to beat him to death. One of the prison guards picked up a big stone and hit Martin‘s chest mercilessly. Very soon his jaw was broken and his chest was crushed.
Martin In died in this cruel way to profess his faith in God the Most High. It was on January 9, 1800 (December 15, 1799 by the Lunar calendar). Martin In was 63 years old. It is said that while he was being beaten for the last time he repeated the following words: "Yes. I give my life to the Lord freely and happily."