Pope says there is only one Korea and asks youths to pray for unity
On the second day of his visit to South Korea, Pope Francis asked young people gathered at the Shrine of the Korean Martyrs at Solmoe, from across the Asian Continent to pray for the unity of the Korean family and he emphasized that the two are “one family,” calling for prayers of re-unification while stressing repentance and forgiveness. “There is only one Korea, but this family is divided,” the Pope said.
The Pope's meeting with the young people gathered for the Sixth Asian Youth Day took place at the Sanctuary of Solmoe, the birthplace of St Andrew Kim Taegon. The first Korean priest, St Andrew came from a family that counted 11 martyrs, including his father and grandfather. St Andrew was himself martyred in 1846, only 13 months after his priestly ordination, when he was just 25 years old. The gathering was part of his August 13-18 visit to South Korea, which coincides with the Sixth Asian Youth Day.
The Pope encouraged those gathered at the event to pray for their “brothers and sisters in the north,” asking God to guide them to unity and leaving aside a sense of winners and losers in order to embrace one Korean family. He then paused and invited those gathered spend a moment praying in silence for unity of North and South Korea. Despite the divisions, the pontiff said, “Korea is one family” that speaks the same language.
He pointed to the Biblical account of Joseph in the book of Genesis, observing that the brothers set out to seek food during a time of famine, but instead they find a brother, whom they had earlier sold into slavery. The brothers were linked to Joseph, the Pope observed, by a common language. “Your brothers and sisters in North Korea are speaking the same language and that gives me hope for the future of the human family,” he said.
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