APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO KOREA, PAPUA NEW GUINEA,
ADDRESS OF POPE JOHN PAUL II
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception - Seoul (Korea)
Sunday, 6 May 1984
We are gathered here this morning in this Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, the mother, as it were, of all the churches in this land, to renew once more the age-old prayer of the faithful throughout the world, a prayer very dear to the Korean Christians from the earliest days: "O Mother of God, we entrust ourselves to your protection".
When in 1837 Bishop Imbert was given the grace of finally succeeding in entering the land on a feast of Mary, he asked the Holy See to have Mary under the title of her Immaculate Conception as the Patroness of the land. This desire was later fulfilled by his successor, Bishop Ferréol, who in 1846, in the midst of a fierce persecution, quietly consecrated the people and Church of this land to the Blessed Mother, as Co-Patroness with Saint Joseph, at the small village of Surich’igol, near Kongju.
And no sooner had the Church gained freedom of worship than this Cathedral was built here on Chong’hyon, as the visible symbol of the Catholic faith in this land, hallowed by the blood of the Martyrs, and solemnly dedicated by Bishop Mutel to the Immaculate Conception, on May 29, 1898.
Many, too, are the remarkable occurrences in the destiny of the Korean people that coincided with the feasts of Mary, recent among them the Liberation on August 15, 1945.
And so today, in this most beautiful Month of Mary, on this most auspicious day of the entire history of the Church in Korea, when the best of her sons and daughters are to be elevated to the honors of the altar, I, John Paul II entrust anew the entire people and Church of this land to the loving protection of the Blessed Mother, Mother of Jesus and Mother of us all.
Mother of all individuals and all peoples, you know all the pains and hopes of everyone. As Mother you know the struggle between light and darkness, good and evil, which is taking place in the world and within our own hearts.
You bore Jesus, the Son of Man and the Son of God, in whom the people of Korea, in wondrous joy, but also through much suffering, have found "the way, the truth, and the life".
O Mother of mercy, we now entrust to your loving heart the entire people and the Church of this land. Keep us from all injustice, division, violence, and war.
Keep us from temptation and from the bondage of sin and evil.
Be with us! Help us to overcome doubt with belief, selfishness with service, pride with meekness, hatred with love. Help us to live the Gospel with the "foolishness" of the Cross, bearing witness to Jesus who died on it, so that we may rise with your Son unto true life with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit.
O Mother of Christ, comfort and give strength to all those who suffer: the poor, the lonely, the sick, the unloved, the downtrodden, the forgotten.
Bless us! Pray for us, together with Saint Joseph, and unite us all in love. Give peace to our divided land, and the light of hope to all. Show us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus! Amen.
© Copyright 1984 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana