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Military Airport, Seoul
Monday, 9 October 1989


Mr Prime Minister,
Beloved People of Korea,

1. As I prepare to leave Korea, my thoughts are filled with the joy of these days. I am grateful to all of you for the warmth and affection which you have shown to me and to the many pilgrims from throughout the world who have come to Seoul for the Eucharistic Congress. I wish to thank you, Mr Prime Minister, for the assistance which the Korean government provided in making this pilgrimage possible. My deep gratitude goes also to the municipal authorities of Seoul, to the army engineers, the security forces and to all who helped in any way to ensure the orderly and smooth running of the Congress.

2. Within these next few days, all of us will be returning to our homes and our daily activities. But the great events, the moments of profound prayer, the precious spiritual consolations of the Eucharistic Congress will not be forgotten; for they have touched our hearts with a powerful spiritual energy, an energy which comes from God himself. The spiritual richness of these days in Seoul will have a quiet but powerful effect on the way we live our lives.

Life will go on throughout Korea as well. And yet, it is my fervent hope, dear brothers and sisters, that beneath the surface of Korea’s everyday life, its struggles and its achievements, a deeper, more mysterious process of growth, nourished by a great spiritual energy, will be taking place. It is my prayer that the seeds of spiritual renewal will be at work in the hearts of all Koreans. You, the people of Korea, are now being called to face the future with a firm resolve to work together to heal wounds that have remained open too long, and to ensure a better, more humane and free life for your children. As you respond to this historic challenge, may wisdom, prudence and charity infuse your thinking, your political activity and your vision of Korea’s true destiny as a nation.

3. Wisdom, prudence and charity are the fruit of a mature conscience and a life of virtue. Where these spiritual gifts, and the discipline of mind and heart which underlie them, are lacking, it is easy for great hopes to be frustrated and for generous spirits to become impatient at the slow pace of change. I urge all of you, especially the young, the students, parents and educators, and all those who are responsible for the political and moral life of the nation, to combine zeal for your country’s renewal and progress with the wisdom that comes from a pure heart. With sensitivity for the complexity of human and political issues, and respect for the dignity of every human being, may you be artisans of justice and peace within the ranks of your people. The Korea of tomorrow will be a better and more authentically human society as a result.

4. With renewed thanks to God for the blessings which we have shared, and with fervent hope for the continued growth of your country in the ways of justice and peace, I bid farewell to Korea and its people. I assure you of my prayers, and ask Almighty God to inspire in your hearts true sentiments of unity and peace.

Yorobune kajonggwa arumdaun nara'e Hanunim-e chukpogul pimnida.


© Copyright 1989 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana


Copyright © Dicastero per la Comunicazione - Libreria Editrice Vaticana