The names of only 132 of the martyrs were recorded. A 50-foot-high memorial tower was erected in honor of the unnamed dead.
ACI Stampa, CNA’s Italian-language news partner, reported that the shrine is the second Korean site to receive Vatican recognition after the Seoul Catholic Pilgrimage Route, which was declared the first Asian international pilgrimage site in 2018.
There are three kinds of shrines within the Catholic Church: diocesan shrines, approved by the local bishop; national shrines recognized by the bishops’ conference; and international shrines endorsed by the Vatican.
International shrines include historic locations such as Jerusalem and Rome, sites of approved Marian apparitions, such as Lourdes and Fatima, and places associated with saints, such as Assisi and Lisieux.
The website of the Haemi Catholic Martyrs’ Shrine points out that the shrine is distinctive “because there were no famous saints or special miracles, and there are not many people who left their names or deeds in the records.”
Pope Francis visited Haemi Castle on Aug. 17, 2014, to celebrate the closing Mass of the sixth Asian youth day.
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