The Gospel does not divide, but unites, by urging people to be close to others in a spirit of service and peace, Pope Francis told visitors from South Korea on the anniversary of the martyrdom of the nation’s first Korean-born Catholic priest and martyr, St. Andrew Kim Taegon.
“I would then like to invite you to rediscover your vocation as ‘apostles of peace’ in every sphere of life,” he told his visitors during an audience at the Vatican on 16th September. While just a student, the saint witnessed “the horrors of the Opium Wars; yet, in that conflictual context, he managed to be a seed of peace for many, proving his aspiration to meet everyone and dialogue with everyone,” the pope said.
“It is a prophecy for the Korean Peninsula and for the whole world: it is the stimulus to become companions on the road and witnesses of reconciliation; it is the credible testimony that the future is built not with the violent force of weapons, but with the gentle one of proximity,” he said.
“Let us entrust to St. Andrew Kim the dream of peace on the Korean Peninsula, which is always in my thoughts and prayers.”
Picture: Pope Francis greets South Korean pilgrims at an audience commemorating the anniversary of the martyrdom of St. Andrew Kim Taegon at the Vatican on 16th September 2023. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)