Pope greets father of youth who died but dreamed of being priest

Pope Francis arrives in Seoul, South Korea August 14, 2014. Credit: Emanuele Princi/CNA.

Among the people who greeted Pope Francis at his arrival in South Korea was a father of an adolescent who wanted to be a priest but died in the country's massive ferry accident earlier this year.  

Danwon High School sophomore Seong Ho Park was killed in the April tragedy, and had voiced hope of one day becoming a priest. His father, Yun Oh Emmanuel Park, 50, welcomed the pontiff after he disembarked from the papal flight to Seoul from the Vatican on Thursday.

Others who greeted the Pope upon his arrival to Seoul were parents of a professor who died in the accident and the widow of another victim. Additionally, Pope Francis was welcomed by two immigrants, descendants of some of the 124 martyrs that Pope Francis will beatify, two individuals with disabilities and some religious.

The Archbishop of Seoul and Pyongyang's Aposotlic Administrator, Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, was among the nine bishops who received the Pope.

The Sewol shipwreck occurred on April 16 about one-and-a-half miles off Byungpoong island. The ferry was transporting 475 people from Incheon to the city of Jeju. Three hundred and thirty passengers were students of Ansan, a suburb of Seoul, who were on a trip to a spa with their teachers.

According to official sources, the cause of the ferry's shipwreck of Sewol was a sharp turn. At least 36 people were officially declared dead, and around 280 have not yet been found.

Announced by the Vatican in March, the Pope's Aug. 13-18 trip follows an invitation from the president of the Korean Republic, Park Geun-hye, and the bishops of Korea.

During his time, the Pope will travel from the capital city of Seoul to Daejon, where he will celebrate the Sixth Asian Youth Day with thousands of young people expected to attend. He will also visit the rehabilitation center for disabled persons in Kkottongnae, as well as a shrine in Haemi for a closing Mass with Asian youth.


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