Wednesday, August 24, 2016

South Korea 2016 - Modern Korean Figures - Religious Leaders

ISSUE DATE: 27 June 2016
STAMP SIZE:36 x 25 mm

Korea Post is issuing Modern Korean Figures commemorative stamps featuring Master Seongcheol and Cardinal Stephen Kim Su-hwan, two spiritual leaders deeply admired by the people of Korea.

A former patriarch of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, Master Seongcheol (1912∼1993) is considered a leading Seon monk in the history of modern Korean Buddhism. He spent his entire life away from the secular world to dedicate himself to achieving enlightenment. He practiced jangjwa bulwa (sitting in the lotus position of Seon meditation while never lying down) for 8 years, and donggu bulchul (meditation inside a hermitage while abstaining completely from going outside) for 10 years. Among his teachings was jungdo sasang (idea of the middle path) that followers should not focus on any one extreme of good and evil, or suffering and joy. He also emphasized the teaching of dono donsu (sudden enlightenment, sudden cultivation). The postage stamp features his hand-writing of bulgijasim (Do not deceive the mind of your own), and the margin of the stamp sheet contains a quote made famous by him: “Mountains are mountains, and rivers are rivers."

Cardinal Stephen Kim Su-hwan (1922~2009) was ordained as a Catholic priest in 1951, and was elevated to cardinal in 1969 by Pope Paul VI. The elevation was significant and raised Korea’s standing in the world because he became not only the first Korean cardinal but also the youngest cardinal in the world. Emphasizing “church reform” and “church in the world,” he embraced the most under-privileged people and had great influence in many corners of society as a leader who refused to compromise with power and capital. Abiding by his belief for human dignity, he upheld and practiced the love and justice of Christ, winning the admiration of all people. As he had promised before his passing, his corneas were donated so that others could see. The Cardinal Kim’s stamp features his hand-writing that says, “The eye is the light of the mind.”

Stamp images thanks to Korea Post

South Korea Post