Pope Francis holds final public event of Korea tripUpdated: 2014-08-19 03:43:36 KST
Pope Francis brought to a close his five-day trip with a 'Peace and Reconciliation Mass' at Myeongdong Cathedral in Seoul.
After entering the church, the pope reached out to seven women seated in the front who were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military during World War Two.
The pontiff took time to listen to them and adorned a badge that was given to him by one of the former sex slaves.
In his address to the hundreds in attendance, Pope Francis conveyed a message of forgiveness.
Referring to Korea, a nation divided for more than 60 years, the pope called for the two Koreas to reunite calling them brothers and sisters and members of the same family.
"Let us pray, then, for the emergence of new opportunities for dialogue, encounters and the resolution of differences, for continued generosity in providing humanitarian assistance to those in need."
Pope Francis' final public event in Korea was attended by about a thousand people.
Reflecting the pontiff's great interest in the marginalized and poor, they ranged from North Korean defectors and immigrant workers to the survivors and bereaved families of victims from April's ferry disaster.
President Park Geun-hye was also present, making it her third meeting with the pope during his Korea trip.
Before the mass at Myeongdong Cathedral, Pope Francis met with the leaders of other religious groups in Korea, including Buddhists and Protestants, and emphasized the importance of harmony.
It's a message that Pope Francis built his visit to Korea around, the first by a pope in 25 years.
He made it a point to reach out to those who are suffering and those whose voices have gone silent within society, calling for changes and compassion.
Connie Kim, Arirang News.
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What a great guy that Pope.