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.