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Sunday, 28 April 1984


Beloved people of Korea,

my first desire is to wish all of you abundant blessing of joy and peace in this Easter season, when Christians celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. But Jesus Christ is not just for those of us who are Christians. By laying down his life out of love for all people, Jesus Christ overcame sin and death, so that all might have eternal life. And so, in these days of Easter, all of us rejoice in his peace - that true peace for which all mankind yearns.

In a few days I shall be leaving on a long journey to come to meet you. Already my heart is in Korea. I think of you constantly during these days and pray for you.

Once again I am setting out from Rome as a pilgrim, to go to Korea, as a friend of all of you and as an apostle of peace.

Obviously, as one entrusted with the task of serving the whole Catholic Church, I come first of all on what is known as a Pastoral Visit, in order to deepen the ties with the local Church. But at the same time I come to share the sufferings and hopes of the entire people of the Korean peninsula, and I pray with all my heart that all of you may soon be reunited as one loving family and be able to live in harmony and peace.

Would that your land, that has suffered so much from the discord afflicting all mankind, might now become a symbol of humanity reconciled in love. How marvelous that transformation would be!

At this time, as the Catholic Church in its Bicentennial is endeavoring to deepen its faith under the motto "A Light to This Land", so also may the entire people of your land live in such a way as to become a light to the nations of the world. This, beloved people of Korea, is my fervent prayer to our loving and merciful God.

Again, I wish all of you and your families the abiding peace and joy of the risen Jesus.

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