The Words of the Soon-Ae Hong (mother of Hak Ja Han [Dae Mo Nim])
Hong Halmonim was a woman of greatness who daily prayed that the arrows of Satan would strike her and not her beloved True Parents
How can I describe the nature, the personality of Hong Halmonim (Soon Ae Hong) to you? She wandered in search of the eternal truth until joining the Unification Church. From the time that destiny drew her to meet True Parents, she devoted her whole being to praying for the protection and safety of the True Family. Until the moment of her Holy Ascension, she asked God, "Let all misfortune, any pain or troubles headed for True Parents, com(to me." Hong Halmonim was a woman of greatness who daily prayed that the arrows of Satan would strike her and not her beloved True Parents.
Hong Halmonim was never up and down, but always gave 100 percent of her love and energy. She strived to live a life utterly shameless before God, as she struggled with a painful disease for the last 10 years of her life -- truly a life of indemnity for the True Family.
Remaining in our hearts is the profound and deep loyalty of Hong Halmonim, who at the brink of her own death was anxious only about the well-being of True Parents' Family. This shining example of filial piety shall be a light to our path as we follow the providential way.
Hong Halmonim clung to the heavenly revelation she had received, as if it were life itself. Without a thought toward the recognition of her efforts by others, she played a pivotal role in the history of the Second Advent, enduring all sorts of pain and trials, armed with faith and perseverance alone.
In order for her daughter to become True Mother before God, she overcame countless adversities and gained victory in myriads of spiritual battles. Her great accomplishments will be recorded forever in the annals of Heaven.
Hong Halmonim was born in Jongju, Pyong-an Nam-do, as the first daughter of two children born to Mr. Yoo Il Hong and his wife Won Mo Cho. It is said that Hong Halmonim's name, Soon Ae, was given to her by the minister where her mother attended church.
From her childhood until 19 years of age she was raised in the traditional Christian faith, when her mother led her to join the "Holy Lord Order" while she attended the Son-kyong High School in Pyongyang. From that early time, she devoted herself entirely to a life of faith.
On March 5, 1934, then a young woman of 20 years, Hong Halmonim was joined in marriage with Mr. Seung Woon Han and gave birth to our True Mother, at 4:30 a.m. on January 6, 1943.
After meeting with severe difficulties in the process of searching for the true Will of God, Hong Halmonim finally met the Unification Church in November 1955.
Through offering her daughter, Hak Ja Han, our True Mother, as the eternal bride and partner to our True Father on March 16, 1960, Hong Halmonim contributed to the establishment of the True Parents' position -- the first and final on earth.
From that time, she invested her entire being to protecting True Parents' Family, fighting fierce spiritual battles against Satan, until 9:30 p.m., November 3, 1989, at 73 years, when she ascended into Heaven to be at Heung Jin Nim's side.
Although known and revered as the Mother of True Mother, Hong Halmonim bore no trace of arrogance, but sought to fulfill her mission of protecting the True Family as an ordinary member. Until her time of ascension, she put forth every ounce of her sincerity with whole-hearted devotion.
Halmonim successfully inherited God's true and original life, love and lineage; furthermore, she fulfilled her mission as the root and foundation for the realization of God's ideal world.
Only because Halmonim accomplished her crucial mission and responsibility could True Parents -- the substantial embodiment of God Himself -- come to exist upon the earth.
Not only that, but by serving and attending True Parents, sharing their joys and sorrows, Hong Halmonim's dedication of her whole life, sincerity and prayer, became the absolute and solid foundation upon which True Parents could fulfill their providential mission.
True Parents both have parents -- four people in all. Yet amongst those four, it was only Hong Halmonim who, while living on the earth, heard the words of the Divine Principle and truly realized their meaning. Upholding the Principle, she attended and followed True Parents, walking the path of sacrifice, giving her whole body and soul for the victory of True Parents and the achievement of God's Will.
Imagine the pain that True Parents both felt about their physical parents who did not understand them while on earth. How could such pain have ever been resolved in the hearts of True Parents, had it not been for Hong Halmonim?
Just the offering of True Mother to God after bearing and raising her daughter in the midst of untold adversities would have been an unparalleled accomplishment. At her Sunghwa Ceremony, Pres. Young Whi Kim said that he felt the value of this responsibility which she fulfilled was much greater than that of Mother Mary and Saint Anna combined. Yet above and beyond this, she fulfilled the truly significant role of grandmother to the True Children.
From the time her daughter became True Mother, she never once thought of True Mother as her daughter in a worldly way. Rather, she spoke of herself and thought of herself in the position of a common member, who believed absolutely in True Parents.
Hong Halmonim, together with Mrs. Mal Sook Lee (center) and Mrs. Haruko Kanari (left), gather vegetables for True Parents' table
Halmonim was a person of utmost cleanliness and purity. She always put her clothing, undergarments, socks, and so on in perfect order and in just the right place. When the date of a certain ceremony was approaching, even a few weeks in advance, she would, with all her sincerity, prepare all the clothes she would wear that day.
Especially, Halmonim paid utmost care to every detail in the arrangement of all of the True Parents' and True Children's clothing. Father once said, "Wearing clothes laundered by someone with a sincere heart prevents accidents from happening." Holding these words in her heart, Halmonim told us that when someone washes and irons True Parents' clothes, if they keep this sincere heart, praying, "While wearing these clothes, may they go about comfortably, and may everything turn out according to their desire," then all work that True Parents undertake will come to its fulfillment. She always requested that the iron for True Parents' clothes, dishes for their meals, and all things that they might use be kept and used separately, for the sake of keeping spiritual order and purity.
She also told us that whenever possible, the laundry for True Parents should not be done by machine, but by hand. Furthermore, she explained to us the order in which we should wash their clothes, starting with the outer garments and finishing with the underclothes, socks and so on.
She taught us that when arranging their clothes, the outer garments should be placed on top, with the underwear on the right side, and socks placed on the left. If there was not enough space to place Father's and Mother's garments separately, she told us Father's clothes should be on top, with Mother's on the bottom. This is another lesson she showed us: we have to set a standard of neatness and create a holy environment where God and the True Family can abide.
Because she had a deeply religious background, Halmonim knew well that Mother's universal mission was critically important. Through her deep prayer, she was aware that Mother would need to bear at least 12 children for the foundation of the dispensation to be established. Since she understood this desperate goal more than anyone else, she always prayed deeply about this point. Through dreams and revelations she would know when Mother was pregnant. She knew very accurately what time the baby would come, whether it was a boy or girl, and what type of character it would have.
When True Mother was ready to deliver a baby, Halmonim wouldn't sleep. She put her whole self into protecting Mother and praying for an easy delivery. She would pray by Mother's side as if she was pouring out her very life on the front line. Until the time that True Mother gave birth to all thirteen children, Halmonim prayed for her the highest and greatest prayer, fighting a spiritual battle with Satan, in which she staked her life and obtained his surrender.
It is said that Halmonim offered her deepest prayer at Heung Jin Nim's birth, when due to difficulties True Mother was barely conscious for a period of three days: praying until her mouth was dry, her lips cracked and bleeding. Whenever the children had difficulties, she felt it spiritually beforehand. She prayed limitlessly until she felt the difficulty was over. She would also take cold showers and fast for the children.
Halmonim's tradition was to awake early every morning; after washing and dressing herself, she would pray, then go before the rooms of True Parents and True Children, offering three bows while praying for their health and that their day would pass without mishap or incident. When the children left for school, she stood at the gate to see them off with a prayer, and welcomed them home again with a prayerful heart.
When Parents went on a trip, it was as if she was going with them, even though she stayed at home. She always knew their itinerary so that her heart could be with them completely. Until Parents returned, her heart was not at East Garden.
In the back of East Garden, Halmonim carefully planted and cultivated vegetables that True Parents especially enjoy: tomatoes, unripened red peppers, sesame leaves, lettuce, crown daisy and scallion. She would then select the best ones and place them upon True Parents' table. And while watering the plants in the garden, she would speak to them saying, "You plants here, how lucky you are to grow in this lovely place and to be served to True Parents! You flowers and trees, how lucky you are to be seen and enjoyed by True Parents!"
Halmonim was especially kind to the security people and had such a grateful heart to them for the protection they gave True Parents. Whatever she had, she wanted to give them. Whenever they became tired or sick, she offered a special prayer for them.
Hong Halmonim, who until the moment of her ascension took upon herself the task of protecting True Parents' wellbeing, would walk in the garden, gently touching and speaking to the trees, saying, "You trees, mountains, streams and rocks! You protect our Parents, understand? You can guard True Parents' Family 24 hours a day, so please protect them!" Even to the things of nature, who could neither move nor answer her, she presented this heartfelt request. Who is there that could surpass the depth and breadth of heart, the true heart of loyalty that Hong Halmonim had for Heaven and True Parents?
When praying for something of special importance, she would fast, take cold showers, change into white clothes, and then offer her prayers. Until she received an answer, she would cling desperately to the prayer. These prayers always bore successful fruits!
Father started the tradition of praying at the Holy Ground in East Garden, but Halmonim was the one who went to the Holy Ground most frequently. She was the leader of that prayer, setting the tradition that people pray at the Holy Ground. Whenever she prayed she couldn't help crying, for she understood the history of Heaven and True Parents so deeply. Her tears were a symbol of true love.
Her constant prayer: "May I receive all the pain and difficulties of True Parents" -- this and the total investment of her sincerity was so powerful as to move Heaven, earth and all things. And so, Hong Halmonim and Mother became completely one with God's Will; Hong Halmonim becomes the Great Mother recorded forever in the history of the universe, while her daughter stands as the eternal True Mother. Where can we find, in all the 66 chapters of the Bible, a woman of such stature and greatness? Who in this world could follow such a standard of prayer and dedication to True Parents and the True Family? Where, among all women throughout the universe, can we find such a sincere victor of true love?
The tears she shed of which nobody knew, the suffering she endured, her prayers, and the offering of her entire self throughout the course of her life -- let us all carve deeply into our hearts these special points of Hong Halmonim as we follow along in her footsteps.
Kwon Jin Nim sits on Hong Halmonim's lap at East Garden
Hong Halmonim was well-known for using candles while praying and explained the significance of it to us in the following way: the candle allows itself to be burnt as a sacrifice in order to extinguish the darkness and bring forth light. Thus, the candle symbolizes the giving of yourself to others. Just as a candle gives light to the environment, 'burning' yourself gives light to others. In order to give light, a candle needs a good balance between the flame, wick and wax. If the candle doesn't burn evenly, the light goes out. Hong Halmonim used to say, "If you don't 'burn' yourself evenly, you cannot give light to others." We, too, must have a very good balance, for then you can give light to others. In the same way, when we pray with the holy candle we are symbolically offering ourselves as a sacrifice.
After praying for a long time with a candle, the wax would gradually melt, dripping down the candle's sides which became lumpy and uneven. Halmonim would trim the edges with a knife, to keep them clean and even. But the smallest fragment or drop of wax would be kept and stored carefully in a box, as the candle fragments themselves, she said, were symbols of flesh and blood.
Halmonim was the base of the True Family in that her whole life was dedicated to them. She concentrated her energies toward the support of the True Family; this is why she is a symbolic seed of the ideal family. Mother brought the seed candle for the Hong Halmonim prayer candle from Korea; she had lit this candle during Halmonim's Won Jon Ceremony. It is significant because it can bring down the foundation of Halmonim's faith and prayer when we use it. Mother wanted to enable many members to receive light through using this candle. Whenever a blessed family needs to develop a feeling of oneness, praying with this candle can be a great support. Through it, we can inherit Halmonim's victory of prayer and her heart of offering.