A statue of South Korea’s first priest, Father Kim Dae-gun Andrea, has been erected in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican.
On September 16, a blessing ceremony was held for the statue of Father Kim Dae-gun near the installation site on the exterior wall of St. Peter’s Basilica.
The blessing took place on the 177th anniversary of Father Kim’s martyrdom, adding to the significance of the event.
Created by sculptor Han Jin-seop, Father Kim Dae-gun is a 3.7-meter-high, 1.83-meter-wide full-length statue of a man dressed in traditional Korean garb, including a gat (hat) and dopo, with his arms open to embrace and accept all things.
“Beginning with Father Kim Dae-gun, we will have saints representing each people and nation in St. Peter’s,” said Cardinal Mauro Gambetti, who presided over the blessing of the statue.
“Today’s blessing is an expression of the hope that the churches of East and West will walk together.”
“The history and depth of Korean Catholicism, which was built with the blood and sweat of many martyrs, is reflected in today’s papal audience, the commemorative Mass, and the blessing of the icon. This year marks the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Korea and the Vatican. With today’s blessing, we look forward to the next 60 years,” said Kang Seung-kyu, Head of Civil Society at the Office of the President.