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Pope's trip to Korea focuses on 3 points: Youth, Martyrs and Peace

2014-08-07

The Pope will board a plane to South Korea on Wednesday August 13th. After an 11 hour flight, he will arrive on the 14th. He's planning on meeting with the country's president and the local government in Seoul. There he will give his first speech in English. 

On Friday the 15th, he will celebrate Mass in the World Cup Stadium of Daejeon. Later that day he will address thousands of youths in the Sanctuary of Solmoe. 

FR. FEDERICO LOMBARDI
Vatican Spokesperson
"A big group is expected for Asian Youth Day. So roughly about 6,000 young adults. It's not like World Youth Day where you have more than 2 million people, but still it's significant and  important.” 

On the 16th, the Pope will visit a center that helps the disabled. To highlight that every life has value, he's planning on meeting with a disabled man, who has moved forward, despite his handicap. 

FR. FEDERICO LOMBARDI
Vatican Spokesperson 
"He is a missionary who' is actually very famous in Korea. He doesn't have arms or legs, so he is severely handicapped. But he is an apostle and he encourages others despite his disabilities.” 

On Saturday the 16th, the Pope will beatify 124 Korean martyrs. John Paul II actually canonized 103 martyrs during his pontificate, but they were second and third generation martyrs. This time around, it will be different. 

FR. FEDERICO LOMBARDI
Vatican Spokesperson  
"While the first generation of martyrs were remembered, their life and martyrdom weren't really investigated at that point. So, up until now their cause for canonization and all the documentation that goes with it, had not been looked into.”

On Sunday August 17th, the Pope will celebrate Mass with youths before heading out to Seoul. The very next day, on the 18th, he will celebrate yet another Mass to pray for peace and reconciliation between North and South Korea, just a few hours before heading back to Rome. 

Like most Asian countries, Catholics are a minority in South Korea. But there's been a steady increase in the last decade. They make up about 10 percent of the the population and roughly 100,000 people are Baptized there every year. 


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