They came from across South Korea to see Pope Francis or, if the crowds were too big to get close enough, to hear his voice emanate from speakers set up around a stage during a Mass to beatify 124 martyrs.
Pope Francis beatified 124 early Korean martyrs Saturday at a mass in Seoul and challenged the massive crowd to ask what values they might be willing to die for in an increasingly materialistic, globalized world.
Pope Francis took a high-speed train Friday to South Korea’s central city of Daejeon to meet with Catholic youths from across Asia gathered for the Asian version of World Youth Day.
When Pope Francis visits South Korea next week, he will find a thriving Catholic community with a social and political influence that belies its minority status in one of Christianity’s most muscular Asian strongholds.
Pope Francis expressed “dismay and disbelief” on Sunday over the violence in Iraq, calling for an “effective political solution” to a crisis which has forced thousands to flee their homes.