(A recent listing of a postcard on Ebay led to a series of emails amongst active KSS members. James Grayson, who lived for several decades in Korea and knows a lot about the history of churches in Korea, created this text, together with Florian Eichhorn, in answer to the questions raised.) This post card forms part of the missionary correspondence of the Benedictines in Korea to supporting groups in Europe prior to and after the Second World War. In particular, this post card is a poignant document from a man who was martyred under the communists.
The Benedictines in Korea: Who Were They?
Members of a missionary congregation of Benedictine monks, the Congregation of St. Ottilien in Oberbayern, Germany, first came to Korea in 1909 and set up a monastic community of teachers and priests in Sŏul. In 1913, the monastery was raised to the status of an abbey with Fr. Boniface Sauer becoming the first abbot. In 1920, the Roman Catholic diocese was divided into two, and the Benedictines were given responsibility for the churches in the area of Wŏnsan (元山, Japanese Gensan), a port in the northeastern part of the Korean peninsula.