Sunday, August 17, 2014

Pope Francis: Meeting with the Asian Youth 2014.08.15, Korea

SEOUL, Aug. 14 (Yonhap) -- Sporting blue T-shirts of the same design, hundreds of young Korean Catholics enthusiastically cheered and exclaimed in joy on Thursday as Pope Francis waved at them from his car while heading to the first destination of his five-day trip to the country.

Some 200 adherents from the Catholic organization Neocatechumenal Way gathered around the fountain in front of the presidential office, which is minutes away from the Vatican Embassy in Seoul, early in the morning.

They waited for hours there, singing and dancing to gospel music in Korean, Spanish and Italian languages and holding a sign that read "We welcome Pope Francis' visit to South Korea" to celebrate the papal visit and get a rare chance to see the Holy Father in person.

Pope Francis had a private Mass and took a short rest at the embassy before moving to the presidential office for an official welcoming ceremony and talks with President Park Geun-hye. Francis is scheduled to spend his first night in South Korea at the embassy.

"I saw him wave and smile at us from the car, with the window rolled all the way down, and it was such an honor," said Marco Kim, a 20-year-old college student who is a member of the Catholic group.

"We came here from different parts of the country for this special visit, and we've all been looking forward to see His Holiness," he added.

Others, including foreign tourists visiting the office of the South Korean president, were also able to get a glimpse of the pope, while those who were unable to leave their workplace watched the pontiff's arrival on television.

"Although I'm not Catholic, the pope's visit still feels like a major lifetime event," said 24-year-old Kim Hee-jin, who added she would have gone to see Pope Francis if she had the time. "Regardless of religious beliefs, the pope's message for peace is crucial for everyone."

Korean Catholics cheer the arrival of Pope Francis in front of the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae in northern Seoul on Aug. 14, 2014. (Yonhap file photo)

1 comment:

mistercee said...

Hi! Do you happen to know which parish or area the Neo-Catechumenal communities in Seoul are? I'd like to visit one while I'm here Seoul. Thanks! ^^,