Of the 98 Korean martyrs who Blessed John Paul II canonized in 1984, more than half were lay women, among them Anna Park Agi. Abandoned in prison by her husband and son who could not endure the torture imposed on them, Anna was steadfast. Even when her husband and son visited her, imploring her to remember her children and family, Anna refused to renounce her faith and begged her son and husband to return to the faith even if it meant a new imprisonment.
Women like Anna, even if they are not as well known or celebrated as Andrew Kim and Paul Chŏng Ha-sang, who wrote and preached publicly in defense of the faith, continue to offer us a great challenge. How many people, especially women without the freedom to peach, continue to offer us an example of fidelity and courage despite the limitations imposed on them by the society and the church!
Luke reminds us that there were many women who accompanied Jesus and provided for him and his disciples from their resources as they went about the work of announcing the Good News. Because these women did not seek a more public role in a society that was often blind to their insights and sanctity, we do not know their names or histories, but we continue to benefit from their witness and faithfulness.
Today, thank a woman who has encouraged you in faith.
Who are the people without loud voices to whom you need to listen more?