Pope Francis sends Message to South Korean Faithful
Pope Francis has sent a message to the Archbishop of Seoul in Korea, His Grace Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, to express his gratitude to the archdiocese for proclaiming the month of September 2013 the “Month of Martyrs” in commemoration of the faithful who laid down their lives for the Gospel in Korea. The Holy Father prayed that those who will participate in pilgrimages next month may deepen their communion with Christ who laid down his life so that those who believe in him might share in the gift of eternal life. He prayed also that the occasion may be an opportunity for pilgrims to rekindle their faith and to commit themselves more fully to the urgent task of evangelization. In the conclusion of the Message, the Pope entrusts all the pilgrims to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, and to the prayers of the martyrs of Korea. The Martyrs of Korea were the victims of religious persecution against Catholics during the 19th century in Korea. About 8,000 faithful were killed because of their faith in Christ during that period. One hundred and three of these were canonised in May 1984.