Pope Francis leaves Vatican for 11 hour Flight to Korea but 1st Visits Our Lady's Basilica and Prays
Pope Francis boards plane for Seoul
Radio Vaticana Report: Pope Francis has just left Rome for Seoul at the start of his pastoral visit to Korea, the first papal visit to the country in 25 years. His plane is due to touch down in the South Korean capital at 1030 local time on Thursday. His five-day visit coincides with the Church’s 6th Asian Youth Day gathering, while other highlights of his trip include an open-air mass in Seoul’s World Cup stadium and the beatification of 124 Korean martyrs and a Mass for peace and reconciliation on the divided peninsula..
Our correspondent travelling with the Pope to Korea is Sean Patrick Lovett who earlier today visited a shrine to some of those Korean martyrs who died for their faith. He told us how Korea is steeped in the blood of its martyrs who died during the waves of persecutions against Christianity in the 18th and 19th centuries. Shared from Radio Vaticana POPE FRANCIS VISITS OUR LADY BEFORE TRIP
Pope Francis at St Mary Major
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis visited the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome on Wednesday morning, just hours before his scheduled departure for Korea. The Holy Father reached the church - which is the largest dedicated to the Mother of God in the city, and the place where the founder of the Society of Jesus, St Ignatius Loyola, said his first Mass - at 11 AM. He arrived quietly, in his usual, low-profile conveyance, without a motorcade and without fanfare. He paused in prayer for a little more than a quarter-hour, and left behind a small bouquet of flowers. Pope Francis has visited St. Mary Major several times during the course of his Pontificate, starting with one on the day after his election. He has visited the Basilica before each of his international voyages, as well.