Francis Korean trip themes: youth, martyrs, peace

by Thomas C. Fox

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The Vatican Wednesday released details of Pope Francis’ upcoming mid-August trip South Korea, saying the trip’s major themes will be: youth, martyrs and peace.

Francis is scheduled to meet with young people gathered for Asian Youth Day; will engage in several ceremonies related to the beatification of 124 19th century martyrs; will celebrate a mass for peace; will visit a facility caring people with mental and physical disabilities; will meet privately with President Park Geun-hye;  and will visit with clergy, religious and lay leaders.

The itinerary:

Thursday, Aug. 14 (Seoul)

-- 10:30 a.m. (9:30 p.m. Aug. 13, Rome time) Arrival at Seoul air base.

-- Noon (11 p.m. Aug. 13) Mass in private at the apostolic nunciature in Seoul.

-- 3:45 p.m. (2:45 a.m.) Welcoming ceremony in the garden of the Blue House in Seoul. Private meeting with the South Korean president.

-- 4:30 p.m. (3:30 a.m.) Meeting with South Korean officials in the Chungmu Room of the Blue House. Speech by pope.

-- 5:30 p.m. (4:30 a.m.) Meeting with the bishops of Korea at the headquarters of the Korean bishops' conference. Speech by pope.

Friday, Aug. 15 (Seoul, Daejeon, Solmoe, Seoul)

-- 8:45 a.m. (7:45 p.m. Aug. 14) Transfer by helicopter to Daejeon.

-- 10:30 a.m. (9:30 p.m. Aug. 14) Mass on the feast of the Assumption in Daejeon's World Cup Stadium. Homily by pope. Recitation of the Angelus. Remarks by pope.

-- 1:30 p.m. (12:30 a.m.) Lunch with young people at the major seminary in Daejeon.

-- 4:30 p.m. (3:30 a.m.) Transfer by helicopter to Solmoe.

-- 5:30 p.m. (4:30 a.m.) Meeting with Asian youth at the Solmoe shrine. Speech by pope.

-- 7:15 p.m. (6:15 a.m.) Transfer by helicopter to Seoul.

Saturday, Aug. 16 (Seoul, Kkottongnae, Seoul)

-- 8:55 a.m. (7:55 p.m. Aug. 15) Visit to the Seo So Mun martyrs' shrine in Seoul.

-- 10 a.m. (9 p.m. Aug. 15) Mass and beatification of Paul Yun Ji-chung and 123 martyred companions at Seoul's Gwanghwamun port. Homily by pope.

-- 3:30 p.m. (2:30 a.m.) Transfer by helicopter to Kkottongnae.

-- 4:30 p.m. (3:30 a.m.) Visit to the rehabilitation center for people with disabilities at the House of Hope in Kkottongnae.

-- 5:15 p.m. (4:15 a.m.) Meeting with religious communities working in South Korea at the School of Love training center in Kkottongnae.

-- 6:30 p.m. (5:30 a.m.) Meeting with leaders involved in the lay apostolate at the Kkottongnae Spirituality Center. Speech by pope.

-- 7 p.m. (6 a.m.) Transfer by helicopter to Seoul.

Sunday, Aug. 17 (Seoul, Haemi, Seoul)

-- 10 a.m. (9 p.m. Aug. 16) Transfer by helicopter to Haemi Castle.

-- 11 a.m. (10 p.m. Aug. 16) Meeting with the bishops of Asia at the Haemi shrine. Speech by pope.

-- 1 p.m. (midnight Aug. 16) Lunch with the Asian bishops in the dining room of the Haemi shrine.

-- 4:30 p.m. (3:30 a.m.) Closing Mass for the sixth Asian Youth Day at Haemi Castle. Homily by pope.

-- 7 p.m. (6 a.m.) Transfer by helicopter to Seoul.

Monday, Aug. 18 (Seoul, Rome)

-- 9 a.m. (8 p.m. Aug. 17) Meeting with religious leaders in the old archdiocesan headquarters building in Seoul.

-- 9:45 a.m. (8:45 p.m. Aug. 17) Mass for peace and reconciliation in Seoul's Myongdong cathedral. Homily by pope.

-- 12:45 p.m. (11:45 p.m. Aug. 17) Farewell ceremony at the Seoul air base.

-- 1 p.m. (midnight Aug. 17) Departure for Rome.

-- 5:45 p.m. (11:45 a.m.) Arrival at Rome's Ciampino airport.

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