11/26/2014, 00.00
KOREA - VATICAN
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Special trains, the way of the martyrs and youth centers: the fruits of the Pope's visit to Korea

The bishop of the Diocese of Daejeon, where Francis attended the Asian Youth Day in August, handed the Pope a list of "small works" born spontaneously due to its trip. The national railway company has decided to donate the ticket price of the seat used by the pope to charity, while the state has declared the Solmoe Shrine a "National Treasure".

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."

 

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