August 19, 2014. ThePope's Twitter account has surpassed 15 million followers in the 9 languages where he publishes his tweets. The most popular accounts are Spanish, with almost 6.5 million followers; English, with more than 4 million followers and Italian, with almost 2 million followers.
August 13, 2014. Several hours before boarding his flight to Seoul, Pope Francis sent out a tweet asking for prayers for the fruits of his trip to South Korea.
As I begin my trip, I ask you to join me in praying for Korea and for all of Asia.— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) August 13, 2014
August 12, 2014. The Pope accepted the resignation of Archbishop Nikolaos Foskolos, the former Archbishop of Athens. He has named Sevastianos Rossolatosto succeed him.
August 11, 2014. Pope Francis has sent
a message of condolence for the plane crash in
Tehran which claimed the lives of almost 40 people. The Pope
expressed his sadness for the tragedy and prayed for the eternal
repose of the victims as well as consolation for their families. The
Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, sent the
telegram in the Pope's name to Archbishop Ignazio
Bedini of Ispahan.
August 11, 2014. Pope Francis has sent a message of condolence for the plane crash in Tehran which claimed the lives of almost 40 people. The Pope expressed his sadness for the tragedy and prayed for the eternal repose of the victims as well as consolation for their families. The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, sent the telegram in the Pope's name to Archbishop Ignazio Bedini of Ispahan.
August 8, 2014. Pope Francis called on the faithful to pray for Iraq via his Twitter account. The Pope asked to "pray for Iraqi Christians and all vulnerable populations” as well as for "those who have been forced from their homes in Iraq.”
Please take a moment today to pray for all those who have been forced from their homes in Iraq. #PrayForPeace— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) August 8, 2014
August 7th, 2014. Pope Francis has named Fr. Bohdan Danylo as bishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of St. Josaphat (USA).
With one of the world's most dynamic Churches, South Koreans have another reason to be proud, Seoul Archbishop Andrew Yeom Soo-jung is now a cardinal.
He leads a growing Church, with one of the highest conversions of Catholics, and a big missionary spirit. That will be on full display for Asian Youth Day. Especially since the Vatican just confirmed that the Pope himself will be a guest, from August 14th to the 18th.
Even though there were rumors, an official announcement had not yet been confirmed, until Monday. As the Cardinal prayed for the Pope's visit, he noted that his predecessor, Benedict XVI, visited all continents, except Asia.
This year, the South Korean city of Daejeon will host Asian Youth Day in the month of August, where thousands of young adults are expected to celebrate their faith.
The Seoul cardinal emphasized that Jesus was born in the heart of Asia. The Pope's visit he said, will inject hope, and usher in a new era for the Church in Asia.
Despite its long history, Catholicism is still relatively new to Korea. In fact, it was laypeople, not missionaries, who established the first Catholic communities in the peninsula in the 18th Century.
It's a testament to the local church's missionary spirit. A spirit that at times came at the cost of lives. It's expected that during the visit by Pope Francis, he will preside the beatification ceremony for 124 Korean martyrs, victims of religious persecution.