Pope Francis holds first mass in Daejon, Korea; Prays for Sewol victimsUpdated: 2014-08-15 18:31:36 (KST)
Pope Francis arrived at the Daejeon World Cup Stadium at around 10 AM.
As he entered the stadium with an open car parade, tens of thousands of Catholic faithfuls welcomed the pontiff, shouting "Viva Papa," "Viva Papa "
It was the first mass that the Holy Father celebrated with the Korean public.
"As Korean Catholics, heirs to a noble tradition, you are called to cherish this legacy and transmit it to future generations. This will demand of everyone a renewed conversion to the word of God and a passionate concern for the poor, the needy and the vulnerabe in our midst."
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Dozens of Sewol-ho ferry victims' family members and surviving students also attended the mass. Among them, about 10 family members privately spoke with the pope ahead of the event. Some of them just finishing a 38-day pilgrimage across the country, carrying a cross, which was delivered to the pope.
"We told the Holy Father that about three-hundred souls are inside the cross and hope he remembers them during the mass."
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The Pontiff prayed for the Sewol-ho ferry victims as he wrapped up the Mass of the Solemnity of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
"We especially entrust to our Lady all who lost their lives in the singking of the Sewol ferry, as well as those who continue to be affected by this great national diaster. May this tragic event which has brought all Koreans together in grief confirm their commitment to work together in solidarity for the common good."
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Some 50-thousand Catholics expressed their gratitude over attending the holy mass.
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"As a Catholic, it is a great honor to be able to attend this mass presided over by Pope Francis."
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"I wish everyone in hardship right now, can stand up with dreams in their heart through this opportunity."
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"I truly wish this mass could be an event of grace and healing to those in suffering."
"About 230 years after Catholicism first came to Korea, about ten percent of the population are now Catholic believers. To those in suffering and in need in this country and in Asia, the pope's words provide consolation and a lesson for reviving the humanity in all of us.
Park Ji-won Arirang News, Daejeon."
Reporter : email@example.com
I encourage Korean Catholics to convert to Protestantism and join an independent church.
"We told the Holy Father that about three-hundred souls are inside the cross..."
(I don't believe that! Dead believers are with Jesus and unbelievers are in hell.)