Pope Francis is scheduled to hold a beatification ceremony for 124 Korean martyrs in Seoul and will visit a sanatorium for the disabled on Saturday, the third day of his visit to the country.
The Mass to honor Paul Yun Ji-chung and his companions will be held at Gwanghwamun Square in central Seoul under heavy security. Over 170,000 preregistered guests will attend the event, with up to 1 million onlookers expected to turn up.
In order to boost security, a 1.3-meter-high security fence spanning 4.5 kilometers in length and metal detectors will be set up around Gwanghwamun Square. All invitees must enter the venue by 7 a.m.
Some 600 family members of those killed or missing in the sinking of the ferry Sewol on April 16 will attend the Mass, organizers said Friday.
Prior to attending the Mass, the pontiff will visit Seosomun Martyrs’ Shrine. It was where the largest number of early Korean Catholics was executed, and is widely considered the birthplace of Korean Catholicism.
Later in the day, he will travel by helicopter to Eumseong, North Chungcheong Province, which is 131 kilometers south of Seoul. There, he will visit Flower Village, a sanatorium complex for the disabled, and meet its residents.
He will also hold meetings with some 4,000 Korean nuns and monks and representatives of ordinary Catholic believers.
By Yoon Min-sik (firstname.lastname@example.org)