Seoul (Agenzia Fides) – To follow, in the Year of Faith, the example of the Korean Martyrs, a model of virtue and faith: with this spirit on 7 June, the World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests, 600 priests of the Archdiocese of Seoul will experience a pilgrimage on foot, which will touch the shrines dedicated to the Korean Catholic martyrs. The pilgrimage, led by the Archbishop His Exc. Mgr. Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, will touch among other places, Myeongdong Cathedral, the sanctuaries of Seosomun and Saenamteo. In a note sent to Fides, Archbishop Yeom Soo-jung explains: "This pilgrimage is not only a time for priests to reflect on their duties of priesthood, but also a good opportunity to let many people know the Korean martyrs and reflect on their faith. In addition, in 2013 we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Korean War: through this event, we pray for authentic peace on the Korean peninsula."
As reported to Fides by Fr. Matthias Hur Young-yup, Director of Social Communications in the Archdiocese, the day will begin at 10:30 am with the Adoration of the Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Word in Myeongdong Cathedral. A series of catechesis and reflections on the history and experience of the martyrs will follow. In the afternoon the pilgrimage on foot, which will end at the "Seosomun Martyrs Memorial Hall", the largest shrine dedicated to the Korean martyrs, where the Holy Mass will be held.
Already on June 2, the archdiocese of Seoul celebrated Worldwide Eucharistic Adoration, together with Pope Francis, with over a thousand faithful gathered in the Cathedral. The Archbishop asked everyone to "pray for reconciliation between North and South Korea and for all the families separated by the division between the two Koreas."
The Korean Church has grown thanks to the martyrdom of many faithful. In the past 103 were canonized saints, and now the Korean Church is working on the beatification of Fr. Choi Yang-eob (1821-1861), the second Korean priest who died during pastoral work, of Paul Yu Ji-chung (1759-1791), the first Korean martyr, and other 123 faithful who sacrificed their lives for faith. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 05/06/2013)