Pope applauds Korean athletes performing for peace at Vatican

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Like every Wednesday, Pope Francis toured St. Peter's Square in his popemobile to greet the thousands of pilgrims that gathered to listen to his catechesis.

He explained about confirmation, the sacrament where one receives the Holy Spirit. 

“The Spirit is an unmerited gift that should be welcomed with gratitude, making room for his inexhaustible creativity. He is a gift that should be guarded with care, to be complimented with docility to let oneself be molded, like wax, by His fiery charity.”

He said the rite has various gestures that express the depth of the sacrament. First, it renews one's baptismal promises and then the profession of faith is made. Afterward, the bishop lays his hands on those to be confirmed and “invokes the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on them.” The pope also stressed the Holy Spirit's ability to construct unity in the midst of diversity.

Pope Francis explained why oil is used for anointing: in ancient times, it was used as a medicine and as a way to perfume the body, which is what the Holy Spirit does to the soul.

“The Holy Spirit is a gift, the invisible gift which is given and the chrism is the visible seal. By receiving the sign of the cross with the scented oil on ones forehead, the confirmed receives an indelible spiritual mark. It's the 'characteristic,' which transforms him or her more perfectly to Christ and gives the grace to spread His 'perfume' to the world.”

Near the end, Korean youth performed a taekwondo show where spirituality and energy were intertwined to send a message of peace. The performance ended with them displaying this saying, “Peace is more valuable than success.”

Pope Francis told them what they had done was a sign of what it means to desire, to work toward, and build peace.

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