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[Papal Visit] Pope baptizes father of Sewol victim

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Published : 2014-08-17 10:17
Updated : 2014-08-17 10:18

Pope Francis on Sunday baptized a father of one of the children killed in April's ferry disaster who chose the same Catholic name as the pope.

"Pope Francis baptized Lee Ho-jin, who lost his youngest son in the ferry sinking, early in the morning. His baptismal name is Francis, the same as the pope," Hur Young-yup, spokesman for the organizing committee of the papal visit, said during a daily briefing in Seoul.


The ceremony was held closed-door with only his immediate family members attending.

The 56-year-old Lee asked the pontiff impromptu on Friday to baptize him when they met briefly before a Mass in the southern city of Daejeon with a dozen others who had lost their loved ones in the ferry disaster.

The 6,825-ton Sewol ferry, carrying an estimated 476 people aboard, sank in southwestern waters on April 16. A total of 294 people have been confirmed dead and 10 are still missing. Most of the victims were high school students who were on a field trip to the southern resort island of Jeju.

Lee recently completed a pilgrimage from the site of the tragedy to Daejeon, trying to overcome his sorrow from losing his youngest son, Lee Seung-hyeon, who was a high school student. (Yonhap)