The Hill of Eight Blessings
The Hill of Eight Blessings
  • Ewha Voice
  • 승인 2006.06.01 00:00
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▲ [Photo by Kim Yea-jin]Ewha's Stone Henge? This is where Ewha's 8th president, Kim Ok-gill, used to sit around with faculty members and have prayer meetings.
   What meaning does a small hill with 24 wooden posts planted on the ground have to you? Most of the students who rush up and down the slope from the Hanwoori Hall, the dormitory, pass this hill without even noticing it. Wouldn't it be interesting to learn that it has not only a name, "Hill of Eight Blessings," but also a history?
   It leaves people wondering what sort of place this is; that is if they do happen to discover this hill. Don't be surprised because this place has quite an old history which must have left many Ewha students wondering the very same thing almost 50 years ago.
   According to the information provided by the Chaplain's Office, this hill was where Ewha's 8th president, Kim Ok-gill, often went to pray to God after her arrival in Korea from America in 1958. Perhaps it's the tranquility of this place that attracted Dr. Kim Ok-gill to frequently visit and arrange morning prayer meetings with faculty members.
   It is said that she came up with the hill's name, "Hill of Eight Blessings" when she was praying and reading from Matthew, chapter five, of the Bible. The eight blessings in the Bible are those taught to the disciples by Jesus also on a "mountainside" and they are: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.   Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.  Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven..."
   Almost 50 years later, international faces visit this small hidden area in campus to rediscover its meaning and trace back Ewha's history. 
   "The first chapel for the students of the Ewha Global Partnership Program (EGPP) was held at the Hill of Eight Blessings because it is an important place for understanding the founding spirit of Ewha," says Professor Chang Yoon-jae (Christian Studies).
   Professor Chang adds that for this semester, EGPP students will be visiting sites both in and out of campus which hold special meaning for Ewha and Christianity such as Mary Scranton's tomb in Yanghwajin. This chapel program was designed specially for EGPP students with the purpose of understanding Ewha and also considering that the students have Korean language classes from early morning every day and thus can? take part in the regular chapels. They will, however, be joining the regular chapels at Ewha beginning next semester.
   With the mystery of the origin of the Hill of Eight Blessings solved, perhaps you can also give it meaning when you happen to pass by, not merely thinking of it as a hill with wooden posts forming a circle.

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