A scene of the Sept. 9 opening ceremony of "On Earth as it is in Heaven: Seoul and 230 years of history of the Catholic Church in Korea," an exhibition currently held at the Vatican. (Photo by The Catholic Times of Korea)
An exhibition showing the history of Catholicism in Korea is currently on display at the Vatican. The Martyrs Exaltation Committee of Seoul Archdiocese opened the exhibition "On Earth as it is in Heaven: Seoul and 230 years of history of the Catholic Church in Korea" with a Mass at St. Peter's Basilica, which was presided over by Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung of Seoul on Sept. 9. The exhibition is being held in the Brachio di Carlomagno hall and displays 187 relics about the birth of Catholicism in Korea, the persecution experienced and the faith's role in Korean society. "The 230 years of the Korean Catholic Church was history witnessing the will of God being 'done on earth as it is in Heaven'," said Cardinal Yeom in his homily for the exhibition's opening Mass. In his congratulatory message, Archbishop Hyginus Kim Hee-joong of Kwangju, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea, said when Pope Francis visited Korea in 2014, the pontiff urged Korean Catholics to be a guardian of memory and hope. "It was a request for us not to lose the value of history and to turn it into stepping stones and to be a lighthouse for the future," said the archbishop. "This exhibition will be a concrete medium of wisdom that links the past and the present and a hopeful future of the Catholic Church in Korea", he added. Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, president of the Governorate of Vatican City State, who attended the exhibition's opening ceremony said: "This exhibition shows not only the joy of the Gospel but also the suffering of persecution of the Catholic Church in Korea. It will confirm the words of St. Tertullian who said, 'The blood of the martyrs is seed of our faith.'" The exhibition runs until Nov. 17.
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