Pope Francis will visit Korea in August to attend a meeting of young Asian Catholics here.
The Vatican on Monday said the pope is visiting Korea on Aug. 14-18 at the invitation of President Park Geun-hye and bishops here. He becomes the third pontiff to visit the country and first in 25 years. The last was John Paul II in 1989.
Francis is scheduled to meet Park and say Mass at the Daejeon World Cup Stadium for the meeting of young Asian Catholics.
On Aug. 16, he will preside over a beatification ceremony in Seoul for Paul Yun Ji-chung and 123 companions from the 18th and 19th century who are regarded as martyrs of the Korean Catholic Church.
He then heads to a Catholic charity village for the homeless and sick called Flower Village in Eumseong, North Cungcheong Province. On Aug. 18, the pope will celebrate Mass at Myeongdong Cathedral in Seoul and deliver a message of peace for the Korean Peninsula.
Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Min Kyung-wook said the visit of the pope, a symbol of frugality and neighborly love, is an opportunity to deliver messages of love and peace for the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia at large.
Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, the archbishop of Seoul, expressed hope that the visit will help with reconciliation between the two Koreas and give hope to the poor and underprivileged.