Young Koreans in Cartago, the journey to WYD begins

A first delegation from the Archdiocese of Seoul  arrives in Central America for the diocesan Youth Day. From here, they will travel to Panama to wait for Pope Francis. Who prays for peace on the Korean peninsula: "Reconciliation and unity".


Cartago (AsiaNews) - A first delegation of young people from South Korea arrived in Central America in view of the World Youth Day which will take place in Panama at the end of January. A group of 41 boys from the archdiocese of Seoul - led by the auxiliary bishop Msgr. Pietro Chung Soon-taek - in fact arrived in Cartago (Costa Rica) for the diocesan Youth Day.

The group is hosted by the parish of Saint Stephen Protomayrtr.  It is the first encounter for young Koreans meet Costa Rican peers: the two countries are practically at the two ends of the planet, and it is very complicated for young people to cover the costs of such a journey. Yet, as the communications office of the Archdiocese of Seoul writes, "they have joined in a simple and spontaneous way. They are young and share the same faith ".

To enliven the guests, the parishioners of Saint Stephen prepared a show with traditional dance and song. In a sign of thanks, the Koreans brought a statue of Mary Queen of Korea and a painting representing the 103 Korean martyrs.

From the 17th to the 20th, the students will be involved in voluntary work and in the visit to the local sanctuaries: on the last day they will take a bus that will take them to Panama City in a 15 hour journey. Here they will wait for Pope Francis's arrival and the beginning of WYD, which will take place from 23 to 28 January.

The Pope is very interested in the Korean situation. After the apostolic pilgrimage of 2014, the pontiff repeatedly pushed Seoul and Pyongyang to a true reconciliation. And yesterday - reports L'Osservatore Romano - he met a group of Korean parliamentarians: during the meeting, he encouraged those present as well as the two Koreas "to dialogue and seek consensus that foster and strengthen the common good". To the requests for prayers for peace on the Korean peninsula, Francis replied: "I always pray for the two peoples and for peace between them". The Pontiff then added: "in the inter-Korean relations a spirit of reconciliation and unity is important".

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