Joseph Yun Bong-mun (1852-1888)
Joseph Yun Bong-mun was the second son of Stanislaus Yun Sa-u and Magdalene who lived near Gyeongju, Gyeongsang-do. He practiced his religion from his youth.
When all his wealth was confiscated by the police during the Byeongin Persecution of 1866, he and his family moved to Yangsan. Later on they settled down in Jinmokjeong, Geoje Island (now, Iun-myeon, Tongyeong-si, Gyeongnam) in search of greater freedom of religion.
Joseph Yun`s father, Stanislaus Yun had already committed himself to proclaiming the Gospel in secret. When they moved to Geoje Island, he taught John Jin`s family about the Good News of Jesus Christ and introduced them to the Church. Through this relationship Joseph Yun Bong-mun married Agnes Jin.
In the winter of 1887 Father A. P. Robert, who was in charge of the mission in the Gyeongsang-do region, made a pastoral visit to Geoje Island. He administered the Sacraments to the Catholics. On that occasion Joseph Yun was Father Robert`s guide and altar server when he celebrated Mass. He helped also with catechism. Fifteen adults were baptized during that year.
In the spring of the following year several months after Father Robert left, the police of Tongyeong captured and persecuted the Catholics in Geoje Island to satisfy their greed. On that occasion, Joseph Yun was arrested with two other Catholics. He was the only one who was taken to Tongyeong. He was interrogated and severely punished for his faith in God. The chief official tried to persuade him to renounce his faith in God but he refused.
The chief official of Tongyeong reported this fact immediately to the governor of Daegu. The governor of Daegu ordered that all Catholics be transferred to Jinju and executed, saying, `They are all like thieves.` Joseph Yun was brought to Jinju for further interrogation and torture. He defended his faith by reciting the Ten Commandments of the Lord. The chief official sent him to prison and ordered the prison guards to strangle him to death that night. He was hanged and died a martyr on April 1, 1888 (February 20, by the Lunar calendar). Joseph Yun was 36 years old.
After Joseph Yun was martyred, Father A. P. Robert reported to the Bishop as follows:
"By good fortune, I came to know this holy martyr intimately. I can assure Your Excellency that he was a devout Catholic. He was full of enthusiasm to convert non-Catholics. I noticed his remarkable faith and wished to get his assistance for my missionary work of evangelization in many islands. God has taken him away from me, but it is to grant him the glory reserved only for His faithful servants."