Stanislaus Han Jeong-heum (1756-1801)
Stanislaus Han Jeong-heum was born in Gimje, Jeolla-do, to a poor but noble family. When he grew up he went to the house of Augustine Yu Hang-geom, a distant relative, in Jeonju and taught his children. It was thanks to Augustine Yu that he came to know about the Catholic religion.
Stanislaus Han embraced the Catholic faith with joy and practiced it faithfully. In accordance with the teaching of the Church he did not offer the ancestral rites. When Father James Zhou Wen-mo visited Jeonju, he received the Sacraments.
Stanislaus Han was arrested in March with Augustine Yu during the Shinyu Persecution that broke out in 1801. Taken to Jeonju, he went through many severe interrogations and torture, but he never yielded. There he met Andrew Kim Cheon-ae and Matthias Choe Yeo-gyeom and made friends.
Later on Stanislaus Han and other Catholics were sent to Seoul where they were interrogated and severely tortured, but their faith in God did not change. Then on August 21, 1801 the Justice Ministry pronounced the death sentence on them, and ordered that each of them be sent to their hometowns respectively and executed. Stanislaus Han was transferred to his hometown Gimje, beheaded and died a martyr on August 26, 1801 (July 18, by the Lunar calendar). Stanislaus Han was 45 years old.
The following is an excerpt from the written death sentence of the Justice Ministry to Stanislaus Han:
"Han Jeong-heum did not perform the ancestral rites and would have been happier to have gone to Heaven earlier. He considered death as life, and he tempted many people with this erroneous doctrine. Though he deserves death, he said, `I have never heard that people prohibited religion by punishing and killing the believers under the pretext of preventing their heretical views.` Such arrogant behavior deserves death ten thousand times."