12/30/2014, 00.00
SOUTH KOREA
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Daejeon: the "pope's seat" to fund a home for single mothers

During his apostolic journey to South Korea, Francis chose to travel from Seoul to Daejeon on a high-speed train. His seat now bears a small plate indicating the event. A portion of the ticket price paid to use the seat now goes to the local diocese. Today the first payment was received for a total of US$ 13,500, which the bishop has allocated to young mothers in need.

Daejeon (AsiaNews) - The "pope's seat" has become one of the most desirable spots in South Korea's public transit.

The seat Francis used for his trip from Seoul to Daejeon during the apostolic visit he made to South Korea in August 2014 has elicited the interest of the local press, after the railway company announced that it would give a portion of the ticket price to charity.

Last month, Mgr Lazzaro You Heung-sik, bishop of Daejeon, had already mentioned the decision by the Korea Railroad Corporation (aka Korail), South Korea's main railway company.

Since the papal visit, the seat has become very famous. Every time someone books it, some of money for the ticket goes for charitable causes in the local diocese.

Between late August and late December, Korail collected some 15 million won, about US$ 13,500, which the CEO of Korail Dr. Choi Yeon-hye handed over to Mgr You (pictured).

The prelate explained to AsiaNews that these funds are not a one-off. "The company," he said, "told me that a donation will be made on an annual basis," and "We decided to allocate the funds to a shelter for single mothers."

"It is wonderful that the seeds planted by Pope Francis in his trip to Korea will continue to bear fruit."

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