Pope to beatify 124 Korean martyrs in front of up to 1 million people

Breaking News August 16, 2014 08:48

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Seoul - Pope Francis was due to beatify 124 Korean martyrs on Saturday who were killed in the 18th and 19th centuries, the biggest event of his five-day trip to East Asia.

Beatification is the third of four levels of recognition by the Catholic Church that culminate in sainthood.

Up to 1 million people were expected to attend the ceremony in downtown Seoul. Francis was being led through the crowds in a parade in an open-topped automobile, from which he could be seen saluting and blessing the faithful.

Earlier in the morning, Francis baptized a man who decided to convert to Catholicism after losing his son in a major ferry disaster in April. The pontiff met him and other people campaigning for an independent investigation into the accident on Friday.

The pope was also slated to visit a large Catholic-run centre in Eumseong, about 100 kilometres south-east of Seoul.


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