Vatican highlights Francis' Korea events

A painting depicting 103 Korean martyrs that Pope John Paul II canonized in 1984. When Pope Francis travels to South Korea next week, he will put 124 additional martyrs on the path to sainthood by beatifying them. (CNS/Courtesy of the Seoul archdiocese)
This article appears in the Francis in Korea feature series. View the full series.

A Vatican spokesman on Thursday released more information about Pope Francis' trip next week to South Korea, highlighted by his attendance at the sixth Asian Youth Day and the beatification of 124 Korean martyrs.

It will be his first trip to Asia as pope.

The pope's itinerary is packed with a wide range of events. He will meet with:

  • South Korean President Park Geun-hye in the capital city of Seoul.
  • clergy, religious and lay leaders.
  • the families of the victims of the April Sewol ferry disaster that killed 304 people, many of them children and teens.
  • surviving "comfort women" who were forced into sex slavery by the Japanese army in Korea in the Second World War. 

He will:

  • deliver 11 speeches, including four in English, a language he does not frequently use in public.
  • celebrate the closing Mass at the Youth Day gathering and a reconciliation Mass at the cathedral in Seoul.
  • and visit the country's newly appointed cardinal, Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, archbishop of Seoul.

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