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In 1818 in the city of Amiens, France, he was born of an influential and religious family. Two of his brothers were priests.

Ordained a priest in the year 1841, at the age of 25, he decided to enter the Society for Foreign Missions in Paris. Initially he was assigned to go to China, but his eventual assignment was Korea, the country in which he would spend the rest of his 21 years of life. When he arrived, the mission had to be practically rebuilt in its entirety. In the first two years of his apostolic activity, he baptized more than 1,700 Koreans.

He worked so hard that his already weak health began to worsen.

In 1856, Bishop Simon Bernaux named him Bishop Coadjutor, and as such he became in charge of the most remote and difficult areas.

Despite the problems that the authorities continually created for the mission, he found the time to write various works, among them a history of the Korean Church and a Korean- French dictionary.

The persecution against Christians was frequent. When Bishop Bernaux died a martyr, Daveluy occupied his position. Twenty-three days after, on March 11th 1860, he was arrested, interrogated, and tortured by the Korean authorities. Transferred to Seoul, they decided to execute him 100 kilometers from the capital so that his execution would not bother the king who was about to marry.

He was martyred on Good Friday, exactly on March 30th of 1866, along with his companions Father Aumaitre and Father Huin. It was he who asked to die on this day. After having delivered a single blow of the sword to the nape of the neck, the executioner did not want to continue until he was paid a large sum of money that the Korean magistrate did not want to concede. The discussion carried on for quite some time, while the body of Msgr. Daveluy, still alive, went into convulsions of agony on the ground. Once they reached an agreement, the executioner struck him twice more, and with that he died. He was only 49 years old.

In 1968, he was beatified, and in 1984, His Holiness John Paul II canonized him together with other Korean martyrs.

“You see, venerable Superior, that if God visits us with more violent persecutions, Korea will give forth even more valiant soldiers, confessors, and martyrs. Let us rejoice in these happy dispositions, and let us ask the Sovereign Master to send apostolic workers to his vineyard according to His Heart, able and valiant apostles that can sustain the faithful in their battles that Hell does not cease to wage. Numerous Christians still groan in prison; the arrest of a number of faithful took place in the month of September, a good number of prisoners were let free without trial, while others are still in chains. . ..”

(Saint Anthony Daveluy,
Letter to the Superior of the Seminary of Foreign Missions in Paris, September 6th, 1853



“In the face of the illness of our Bishop, our only opportunity was to turn to the Immaculate Heart of Mary: we did this with a novena; but our Mother absolutely seems to want to put an end to the exile of her servant, and she shows herself full of zeal in calling him to herself. If we should become orphans, she will without a doubt console us with a more maternal solicitude; it is thanks to her protection, I doubt it not, that I am able to face the fatigues of this year. Charged with the care of Monsignor and of carrying on the administration in his place, on the most difficult roads, without ceasing to fulfill my ordinary duties, I have found the time and the strength to do everything. But you know that God rewards the fatigues of his missionaries with new trials.”

(Letter of Saint Anthony Daveluy, October 18th, 1852)