Charles Jeong Cheol-sang ( ? -1801)
Charles Jeong Cheol-sang was born to a renowned scholarly family in Majae, Gwangju, Gyeonggi-do (now, Neungnae-ri, Joan-myeon, Namyangju-si, Gyeonggi-do). Augustine Jeong Yak-jong who was martyred in 1801 was his father. St. Cecilia Yu So-sa who was martyred in 1839 was his step-mother. St. Paul Jeong Ha-sang and St. Elizabeth Jeong Jeong-hye who were martyred in the same year were his younger brother and sister.
Charles Jeong learned the catechism from his father when he was young. He was very devout in his religion and practiced it with great sincerity. He did not participate in the ancestral rites to follow the teaching of the Church. This created trouble in the family for him. Despite this he revered the Lord with all his heart and will.
when Father James Zhou Wen-mo came to Korea in late 1794, Charles Jeong went with his father to Seoul to receive the Sacraments. Sometimes Father James Zhou visited him in his house in Bunwon, Yanggeun (now, Bunweon-ri, Namjong-myeon, Gwangju-si, Gyeonggi-do). Meanwhile, Charles Jeong married the daughter of a renowned Catholic, Francis Xavier Hong Gyo-man.
The Shinyu Persecution broke out in 1801 when Charles was about 20 years old. His father and uncles were arrested and taken to the Supreme Court. Young Charles Jeong followed them and supplied them with clothes and food from outside the prison, staying near by. The officials who noticed him tempted him saying, ‘Reveal the whereabouts of Father James Zhou and save your father`s life.` But he did not yield to the temptation.
On April 8, the day when his father was beheaded and died a martyr, Charles Jeong was arrested by order of the Supreme Court, and was severely interrogated at the Justice Ministry. But he said nothing that would harm the church or the faithful. He even made up stories to protect Father James Zhou. His only desire was to follow his father and to die for the Lord.
The officials of the Justice Ministry, on realizing that Charles Jeong would not change his mind, ordered that he be put in prison where he stayed for more than a month. He was sentenced to death with Peter Choe Pil-je and Lucy Yun Un-hye and they were martyred on May 14, 1801 (April 2, by the Lunar calendar).
The following is an excerpt from the written sentence of death of Charles Jeong by the Justice Ministry:
"You were so deeply imbued with the Catholic religion that you did not participate in the ancestral rites of the family. You did not tell the whereabouts of your evil teacher (Father James Zhou) to protect him, though you were punished with the prick. …… You provided Zhou Wen-mo with shelter, and attended gatherings with evil people. You behaved like a dog and a pig and corrupted human morals. Therefore, you deserve death ten thousand times."