Moments before celebrating his first Mass in South Korea, Pope Francis made his way to Daejeon's World Cup Stadium, where he received a warm welcome with thousands of waving handkerchiefs.
In his homily the Pope described the Gospel as a hope that can fill an inner void that materialism simply cannot.
"The hope held out by the Gospel, is the antidote to the spirit of despair that seems to grow like a cancer in societies which are outwardly affluent, yet often experience inner sadness and emptiness.”
The Pope gave his homily in Italian, which was translated to Korean. Even though Catholics are a minority in the country, as a whole, they're considered an affluent group. The Pope encouraged them to help the needy, to embrace a culture of life and not give into materialism.
"May [Christians] reject inhumane economic models which create new forms of poverty and
marginalize workers, and the culture of death which devalues the image of God, the God of life,
and violates the dignity of every man, woman and child.”
Among the roughly 50,000 people in attendance, were family members of victims who died in the ferry accident that killed almost 300 people back in the month of April. He led the Angelus in English, praying for victims and those who are still affected by the disaster.
"May the Lord welcome the dead into his peace, console those who mourn, and continue to sustain those who so generously came to the aid of their brothers and sisters.”
Since Catholicism was first introduced to the country by the laity, the Pope said that with this unique legacy, comes the responsibility of passing on the faith to younger generations.