St. Bishop Berneux

List of those canonized or beatified

St. Bishop Daveluy

 Saint Andrew Kim Dae-geon and the Venerable Thomas Choe Yang-eop

The first two Korean priests, St. Andrew Kim Dae-geon and the Venerable Thomas Choe Yang-eop, studied together in Macao before entering Korea as priests. Kim Dae-geon was executed in 1846, a year after returning to Korea. Thomas Choe entered several years later and served as priest for some 10 years before dying of exhaustion. Both wrote about 20 letters in Latin to the French priests who had educated them. English translations of both sets of letters have been made by Brothers Anthony and Han-Yol. The translated letters of Saint Andrew Kim Dae-geon were published in 2021. Those of Thomas Choe were published late in 2022. The Latin (or French) originals can be viewed here:
The letters and reports on the Korean martyrs by St. Andrew Kim Dae-geon.
The letters written by Thomas Choe Yang-eop.

Copies of these books can be purchased through the office of the Royal Asiatic Society, Korea. (email link)

A series of texts in French and Latin about the life and death of Fr. Kim used for his beatification


The “Documents of Mgr Daveluy” consist of five volumes: the first two are collections of his letters.
volume 3: Notes for the introduction to the History of Korea
Volume 4: Notes for the History of the Martyrs of Korea
Volume 5: Notices of the Principal Martyrs of Korea
Volume 6: Letters to the MEP
Volume 8: Letters to his family
Saint  Marie-Nicolas Antoine Daveluy, Bishop (1818-1866)

Born on March 16, 1818 in Amiens, Antoine Daveluy was ordained on December 18, 1841. After 20 months as vicar in the parish of Roye, he entered the Society of Foreign Missions of Paris. Sent to Macao, he met Bishop Ferréol, third Apostolic Vicar of Korea, who asked him to accompany him in his mission. He accepts and goes to Sanghai where he attends the ordination of Father André Kim Dae-geon, the first Korean priest.
    On August 31, 1845, accompanied by his bishop and the new priest, he left Shanghai and after a long and perilous crossing, on October 12, all three arrived clandestinely in Korea. Over the next ten years, he traveled through Christian villages in secret, in the midst of countless difficulties despite very precarious health. In 1856 he was appointed coadjutor to Bishop Berneux, with right of succession and consecrated bishop in Seoul on March 25, 1857. From 1856 he had set himself to the arduous task of collecting documentation concerning the culture, history, administration, geography, the history of the Church in Korea and the deeds of its many martyrs.
    Copies of the documents, which he had translated into French, were sent in 1862 to Paris to the superior of the seminary of the Foreign Missions of Paris, Mr. François Antoine Albrand. They served as a source for the "History of the Church of Korea" written by Claude Charles Dallet published in 1874. A year after these documents had been sent to Paris, a fire in Seoul destroyed all the original documents in the house of Mgr. Daveluy.
     After having thus collected the acts of the martyrs of Korea, he was himself arrested on March 11, 1866 and beheaded on the 30th of the same month. He was 48 years old and had worked for 21 years in Korea He was canonized on May 6 1984 in Seoul with the 102 other holy martyrs of this country.

His Volume 4: Notes for the History of the Martyrs of Korea, (from the beginning until 1839) was the main source for the earlier part of Dallet's History. The account based on it ends with the end of Chapter 1 of Dallet's Book III. Daveluy says that his source for information about the early years around 1784 are notes written by Jeong Yak-yong aka Dasan.

Chronology of the records of the early martyrs and their 1925 Beatification (Korean text)

Volume 4
Preamble: Hong Iou han, Ni Piek, Ni Seng houn
Chapter 1: The Year 1791
Chapter 2: After 1791
Chapter 3: 1800-1801
Chapter 4: From the end of 1801 to 1815
Chapter 5: From the end of 1815 to 1827
Chapter 6: After 1827
Chapter 7: The Year 1839

Histoire de l’Église de Corée [History of the Korean (Catholic) Church]

Precedée d’une Introduction Sur l’histoire, les institutions, la langue, les mœurs et coutumes coréennes Avec Carte et Planches

Par Charles Dallet Missionnaire apostolique de la Société des Missions-étrangères

Paris Librairie Victor Palmé, Éditeur Rue de Grenelle-Saint-Germain, 25


French Texts of Dallet's book
Dallet's original French text, which is entirely based on materials sent to Paris by the French missionaries in Korea, has never been re-edited or annotated. In particular the romanizations of Korean names (of places, persons, institutions) provided by the missionaries are extremely opaque and hard to recognize.  For French texts of the Introduction to Korea see the links at the foot of this page.

Tome Premier    Tome Second  These Internet Archive links give the possibility of viewing the scanned originals as well as an uncorrected (poor) OCR and other viewing possibilities

Volume 1
(including the General Introduction)   Volume 2     Wikisource offers an almost perfect corrected OCR text of both volumes, each in a single file, including all Dallet's footnotes

Also available from Wikisource is a page-by-page parallel text, with a corrected transcript facing the image of the original, Volume 1 (including the general Introduction)  Volume 2  but the only way of moving to following or preceding pages is to manually change the page number in the URL

Claude Charles Dallet was born on October 18, 1829 in the parish of Saint-Mammès, in Langres, Haute-Marne. A student at the minor and major seminaries of his native town, he entered the Foreign Missions seminary as a minor on October 5, 1850. He composed the Song for the departure of the missionaries, for which Gounod wrote the music and which was sung for the first time on April 29, 1852. Claude Dallet received the priesthood on June 5 and left on August 20, 1852 for Mysore where he gave himself very actively to his apostolate.

First he was curate in Blackpally, one of the parishes of Bangalore, and in 1857 he was put in charge of the district of Mysore. He built the presbytery there, treated the cholera patients with devotion and was solemnly thanked by the rajah. Chosen in 1858 to be one of the directors of the MEP seminary, he refused. In 1859, he published the "Controversial Catechism", in order to combat the Protestant doctrines. That same year, he accompanied his bishop, Bishop Charbonnaux, to the conference held in Salem to revise the General Regulations of the Foreign Missions Society.

A few months later, suffering from epilepsy, he returned to France and took advantage of his stay in Paris to work at the Imprimerie Nationale on the engraving and casting of Telugu and Kannada characters. When he learns of the martyrdom of his friend, Théophane Vénard, he composes the Cantique pour l'anniversaire de nos Martyrs, which he dedicates to him and whose music is also by Gounod. In 1863, he left for Mysore, fell ill again, and returned to France in 1867.

In 1871, he undertook a trip to the two Americas, looking for resources for the Paris Seminary which had been put to the test by the Franco-Prussian war and by the Commune. He leaves behind a memory in Canada other than that of a beggar. It is to his initiative that the Chinese and Japanese museum of the Laval University in Quebec City was created. Once back in France, in 1872 and 1873, he coordinated and participated in the revision of the very complete manuscripts of Bishop Daveluy, then published the result of this work, under the title: "History of the Church of Korea", of which he wrote the preface himself. In 1875, he had the "Benedictionale" printed, which the Seminary used thereafter.

He conceived the idea of writing the History of the Society and in order to complete the documents gathered in the archives of the Seminary, he undertook to visit the missions. He left in February 1877, went to Japan and Manchuria, stayed in Peking, stayed for some time in Cochinchina and went to Tonkin. He died of dysentery on April 25, 1878 in Ke-so (West Tonkin), where he was buried. 

(French original)

 Map and charts from Volume 1 of Dallet

Related French Texts (with a few English translations)

The Origins of the Catholic Church in Korea as told by Bishop de Gouvea   French (1798)  English  Latin
Travaux et martyre de Mgr Imbert,... et de ses deux compagnons, MM. Maubant et Chastan... H.-P. Jourdan. 1858.
Les martyrs de l'extrême-Orient, ou Les 94 serviteurs de Dieu mis à mort pour la foie en Corée, en Cochinchine, au Tong-King et en Chine  1859.
Les Martyrs en Corée, L. Le Saint 1866
Vie de Mgr Berneux, évêque de Capse 1867.
Vie de Henri Dorie, Ferdinand Baudry 1867
Vie de M. Pierre Aumaitre Leandre Poitou. 1877.
Relation de la captivité & de la délivrance de Mgr Ridel. 1879.  (A better definition PDF file)
(Félix Clair Ridel) : Dictionnaire coreen-francais (1880) PDF download
(Félix Clair Ridel) : Grammaire coréenne: précédée d'un introduction sur le caractère de la langue coréenne, sa comparaison avec le chinois, etc., suivie d'un appendice sur la division du temps, les poids et mesures, la boussole, la généalogie, avec un cours d'exercices gradués pour faciliter l'étude pratique de la langue. 1881.

Vie de Mgr Daveluy : évêque d'Acônes, vicaire apostolique de Corée... Charles Salmon,... Salmon, Charles (1832-1889) 1883  PDF file of the section on his time spent in Korea
Mgr Ridel, évêque de Philippolis, vicaire apostolique de Corée : d'après sa correspondance. Arthur Piacentini, 1890. PDF French text   English translation
Vie de Michel Alexandre Petitnicolas : prêtre de la Société des Missions-Étrangères décapité pour la foi en Corée le 12 mars 1866 . 1891
Vie de Just de Bretenières: missionnaire apostolique martyrisé en Corée en 1866. Maurice Lesage d'Hautecoeur d' Hulst 1892
A martyr of our own times : life of Rev. Just de Bretenières, missionary apostolic, martyred in Corea in 1866, by Monseigneur d
Hulst, 1892
Jean-Antoine Pourthié, provicaire apostolique de la Corée.... Les saints & les martyrs du diocèse d'Albi / par l'abbé H. Salabert, 1892, chapitre 21, p. 735-776
Vie de Martin-Luc Huin, par Théophile Ramaget,... enrichie d'une lettre de Mgr Mutel, sur l'état actuel de l'église de Corée...1893
Bernard-Louis Beaulieu, P-G Deydou. 1868  Seconde edition 1894
Pour la Foi: un témoin de Jésus-Christ au XIXe siècle, Just de Bretenières, martyrisé en Corée le 8 mars 1866 :  Claude Appert, 1910
For the faith : life of Just de Bretenières, martyred in Korea, March 8, 1866 by
Camille Appert, adapted by Florence Magruder Gillmore.1918.
Mission de Seoul, documents relatifs au martyrs de Corée de 1839 et 1846. MEP Hong Kong. 1924.
Mission de Seoul, documents relatifs au martyrs de Corée de 1866. MEP Hong Kong. 1925.
G. St. G. M. Gompertz:  Archbishop Mutel, A Biographical Sketch. RASKB Transactions XXVII: 57-132. (Short French biography)

Fr. Bret, a French missionary in Korea from 1894 wrote a long account of a journey from Wonsan into Manchuria made in 1897-8 giving an impression of the response to the Faith in remote rural Korea at that time.

The sources of Dallet's History made available online

The main source for Dallet's account until the end of the 1839 Gihae persecution is Daveluy's Volume 4: "Notes for the History of the Martyrs of Korea" which has never been published or made fully available online, although it has been transcribed in full. Much of the time, Dallet reproduces Daveluy's text almost verbatim. Daveluy did not (it seems) have access to
Bishop Bruguière's Notice, so he says nothing about the Korean Catholics martyred by the Japanese soon after 1600, Dallet draws on Bishop Bruguière's Notice (see below) for some of that information.

Once Daveluy's text ends with the end of the 1839 Gihae Persecution, corresponding to the end of Dallet's Book III Chapter 1, for the rest of his book Dallet mainly bases his text on many lengthy quotations from letters written by the French missionaries (and the 2 Korean priests). He does the same for the period from 1830-1839, the first 127 pages of Dallet's Volume 2, which are not covered by Daveluy. A number of the texts correspond to letters (and translations from Latin) used by the annual periodical "Annales De La Propagation De La Foi" which published letters from the world's missionaries.
Brother Anthony has compiled a set of the Annales' 50+  letters related to Korea, in French and those in English from the English editions (published independently in Dublin and London) although the complete set of English volumes is lacking on the Internet.

The first text from the Annales in the above file  is composed of letters written by Bishop Bruguière in Macao in 1832, and includes an unexpectedly well-researched "Notice sur l'état du Christianisme en Corée"  which he says is a summary of texts about the origins of the Church in Korea. Dallet quotes parts of this text almost verbatim at least in his first chapter, when evoking the Koreans martyred in Japan after 1600.

It should be said that Dallet quotes many more letters than are reproduced in the Annales. The Annales also published the (French) text of M. Bruguière's lengthy account of his journey across China, prior to his death at the gates of Korea. Dallet quotes from this at length. In a letter written in November 1833, just before he entered Korea, M. Maubant gives details of the death of Bishop Bruguière and indicates his intention of setting out to enter Korea in his place. Text in French, in English.
Of interest, too, is a set of scans of t
he letters written by M. Maubant after his arrival in Korea in 1836 together with transcripts of the French texts, and  translations into Korean and English. At the end of his last letter (the first part is included in the linked letters, written in September 1839 while awaiting the arrival of Fr. Chastan, with whom he was to surrender to the authorities, Fr. Maubant provided the first overall account of the 1839 Gihae Persecution. This can be read here in French and in English (PDF files). This can be compared to the complete account of the Gihae Persecution composed by Bishop Ferréol in 1846, available here in my English translation.  For more information, I have placed in parallel the accounts of the martyrs given (originally in Latin) by Kim Dae-geon and by Bishop Ferréol.
English Translations of Dallet's work

Despite its considerable interest, no complete, annotated English translation of Dallet's text has ever been made and published until now. Only a version of the Introduction was made in the 1950s.
Brother Anthony has translated the entire text of the 2 volumes containing Dallet's History, having
completed David Gemeinhardt's translation of most of the Introduction . He is currently annotating the text, which he hopes will be published in due course. It is therefore not freely available online. Any inquiries should be sent to Brother Anthony.

1. The General Introduction to Korea 
his initial translation by David Gemeinhardt has now been completed and annotated by Brother Anthony.  It will be published in due course.

In Brother Anthony's translations, all Korean names of places, people and institutions, and other Korean terms, have been identified and romanized using the current RR (2000) system. In addition, wherever possible the corresponding Sino-Korean characters have been added. The romanizations used by the French missionaries whose texts Dallet was transcribing are extremely opaque, and at times inaccurate. The modern Korean translations have been widely consulted.

2. Part 1 (the second part of Volume 1).  From the introduction of Christianity in Korea to the erection of this kingdom into an Apostolic Vicariate. 1784 - 1831.

3. Part 2 (Volume 2) From the erection of Korea as an Apostolic Vicariate to the martyrdom of Bishop Berneux and his confreres. 1831-1866.
          Book 1: From the appointment of the first Vicar Apostolic of Korea until the persecution of 1839. 1831-1839   Book 2: The Persecution of 1839. 1839-1840.
Book 3:From the end of the persecution until the death of Bishop Ferréol, third Apostolic Vicar of Korea. 1840-1853. Book 4: From the death of Bishop Ferréol until the death of King Cheoljong. 1853-1864Book 5: From the death of King Cheoljong until the return of the French expedition. 1864-1866

Martyrs' Voices: One of the characteristic features of Charles Dallet’s Histoire is his frequent verbatim reproducing of letters. Most of the letters are those written by French missionaries but he also includes translations into French of a few letters and other texts written by Koreans, almost always martyrs faced with imminent execution. In this way Dallet gives a voice to the first Korean Catholics in a unique way. While the French text of Dallet is freely available online, it might be good to enable those voices to be heard in English as well.

Korean translation of Dallet

A complete Korean translation of Dallet's entire text with copious notes  한국천주교회사 전3권 샤를르 달레 원저.안응렬.최석우 역주 (3 volumes) was published in Seoul in 1987. It is out of print. It used a maximum of Sino-Korean characters without indicating Hangeul equivalents.
A modern Hangeul translation of the General Introduction was published in Seoul in 2015 as  벽안에 비친 조선국의 모든 것 조선교회사 서론

Byeongin Yangyo, the French expedition against Korea of 1866

The two 1866 French naval expeditions directed against Korea, in the second of which the island of Ganghwa was occupied for several weeks, were the direct result of news of the 1866 execution of 9 French missionaries reaching the French authorities based in China, with the arrival of Fr. Ridel. Admiral Roze decided to try to demand explanations, apologies, and reparations from the Korean government. Finally he sailed away without any result, apart from robbing and burning the royal palace and library on the island. A large separate page is devoted to this expedition, which had the unintended result of intensifying the persecution of Korea's Catholics and strengthening the Regent's resolve not to admit foreigners to Korea.

Dallet: Introduction sur l’histoire, les institutions, la langue, les mœurs et coutumes coréennes. [HTML files. See also: Complete OCR text in PDF]  

I.  Géographie physique de la Corée. — Sol. — Climat. — Productions. — Population.
II   Histoire de la Corée. — Son état de vasselage vis-à-vis de la Chine. — Origine des divers partis politiques.
III.  Rois. — Princes du sang. — Eunuques du palais. — Funérailles royales.
IV  Gouvernement, — Organisation civile et militaire.
V.  Tribunaux. — Prétoriens et satellites. — Prisons. — Supplices.
VI.  Examens publics. — Grades et dignités. — Ecoles spéciales.
VII.  La langue coréenne.
VIII  État social. — Différentes classes. — Noblesse. — Peuple. — Esclaves.
IX   Condition des femmes. — Mariage.
X.   Famille. — Adoption. — Liens de parenlé. — Deuil légal.
XI   Religion. — Culte des ancêtres. — Bonzes. — Superstitions populaires.
XII  Caractère des Coréens : leurs qualités morales, leurs défauts, leurs habitudes.
XIII  Jeux. — Comédies, — Fêtes du nouvel an. — Le Hoan-kap.
XIV  Logements. — Habillements. — Coutumes diverses.
XV  Sciences. — Industrie. — Commerce. — Relations internationales