(AsiaNews) As AsiaNews had first announced on January 22, Pope Francis will visit South Korea, August 13 to 18 , 2014. During the trip he will participate in the Asian Youth Day to be held in Daejeon, will preside at the Mass of beatification of the 124 Korean martyrs and a new mass for peace for North Korea. This was confirmed today by a Holy See Press Office statement.
In the text of the statement reads: " Accepting the invitation of the President of the Republic and the Korean Bishops , His Holiness Francis will make a pastoral visit to the Republic of Korea, August 14 to 18 , 2014, for the Sixth Asian Youth Day , which is to be held in the Diocese of Daejeon . " According to news agency Yonhap , the Pope will also meet with the President, Park Geun-hye.
In a message commenting on the announcement Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung writes: "I would like to express my warmest welcome to Pope Francis' visit to Korea. I am very grateful that the Holy Father has kept in mind the young people of Asia and the Korean faithful, and has decided to travel such long way to our country.
On the Mass of Thanksgiving for the creation of new cardinals, the Holy Father offered words of affection to me that he loves Korea very much; now that he is really coming to our country, I can feel the abundant grace of God. The Holy Father's visit to Korea is great joy and blessing to our country.
I pray that Pope Francis' visit will bring reconciliation and peace to the Korean Peninsula; I hope that this will be the chance for all Asia to feel the peace of our Lord. May this also be a time for the poor and the marginalized people to regain hope".