Anthony Hong Ik-man ( ? -1802)
Anthony Hong Ik-man was born out of wedlock to a noble family. He lived in Yanggeun and around 1790 he moved to Songhyeon in Seoul. He was a cousin of Francis Xavier Hong Gyo-man who was martyred in 1801 and the father-in-law of Philip Hong Pil-ju and Anthony Yi Hyeon who were martyred in 1801.
He heard about the Catholic religion in 1785, visited Thomas Kim Beom-u and borrowed religious books from him. He was baptized by Peter Yi Seung-hun. From then on he kept in contact with the church leaders and studied the Catholic doctrine, leading a religious life with great ardor. He wanted to abandon the ancestral rites in accordance with the Catholic teaching, but he could not do so because of his family and surroundings.
In 1796 Anthony Hong met Father James Zhou Wen-mo at the house of his son-in-law Philip Hong. He often visited Father James Zhou and learned the catechism from him and received the Sacraments. He formed a community with close Catholic believers and helped with the Church activities. Sometimes he invited Father James Zhou to dinner at his home. At that time, his house served as a meeting place of the `Six associations`, a sub-organization of the `Myeongdohoe`, a lay people`s organization that father James Zhou had established.
When the Shinyu Persecution broke out in 1801, Anthony Hong tried to escape to Ansan and to Yeoju. But he was arrested by the police and subjected to interrogation and severe torture at the Police Headquarters and the Justice Ministry.
The judge interrogated him to force him to reveal the names of the believers and to betray the Catholic religion. However, he did not report on anyone, except those who had already been arrested. Without fear of death, he bravely professed his religion. The following is an excerpt from his response to the judges:
"Though I am aware that my sin is hardly pardonable, I escaped for months and finally I have been arrested. I have been deeply imbued with the Catholic faith. Thus, I have no intention of changing my mind and renouncing my religion. I have nothing else to say, but I will choose death."
Anthony Hong, who professed his faith in God in this way, was finally sentenced to death. He was taken with his church companions outside the Small West Gate or Saenamteo in Seoul, beheaded and died a martyr. It was on January 29, 1802 (December 26, 1801 by the Lunar calendar).