Rome (AsiaNews) - The distance separating the Korean capital Seoul from Daejeon, about 150 kilometers of road, can be traveled by car or train. When Pope Francis visited the diocese, which hosted the sixth Asian Youth Day, it was thought he would use a military helicopter. Instead the pontiff chose to travel by train "also to try the high speed". Now the seat he used has a commemorative plaque, and the railway company has decided to donate the price of each ticket purchased for that seat to charity.
It is not just a curiosity, but one of
the many small acts of charity
and love of neighbor that has sprouted in the
wake of Pope Francis' visit to Korea.
In Rome for some
conferences - including
the AsiaNews International
Symposium - the bishop of
Daejeon Msgr. Lazzaro
You Heung-sik handed
Francis a list of "small good works" born thanks
to his August visit to South
Korea. "Both civil
organizations that religious ones
- writes the
prelate in the text - were touched by your presence and message. Everyone
has decided to do something to
keep the memory of
your visit alive".
Besides the already mentioned train seat, it should be noted that the Seoul government has designated the Martyrs Shrine Solmoe a "National Treasure." "Pope Francis Park" has been created in the same place, and will have a "pilgrims hostel" to commemorate the Pope's meeting with the young Asians. Instead the other sanctuary of the Diocese of Daejeon, Haemi which hosted the concluding Mass, will see the construction of a youth center.
Finally a more spiritual "fruit". The places of arrest, persecution and death of the Korean Martyrs - especially in the area of Naepo - will become a place of pilgrimage modeled on the "St. James' Way or Camino de Santiago de Compostela in Spain."