Cardinal Andrew Yeom has asked Pope Francis for a special benediction for Pyongyang Diocese. (Photo: Seoul Archdiocese)
Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, the archbishop of Seoul, has issued his message for the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
In the message issued under the theme of "Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you" (Luke 1:28), Cardinal Yeom said: "I hope that the day will come soon when we will be able to share with our North Korean brothers and sisters the joy of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
“Since this year marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule and the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War, I decided to dedicate the Pyongyang Diocese to Our Lady of Fatima after sincere prayer and discernment.”
He expressed his wish that the two Koreas would open their hearts and start to talk for real peace.
He also mentioned that he had asked Pope Francis for a special benediction for Pyongyang Diocese.
“The Holy Father promised to offer a special prayer for the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the day we dedicate the Pyongyang Diocese to the Holy Mother of Fatima,” Cardinal Yeom said.
The Solemnity of the Assumption is also Liberation Day when Korea celebrates its liberation from Japanese colonial rule in 1945.
The Korean Catholic Church considers the liberation as a gift from the Virgin Mary, joins in the joy of liberation and celebrates Masses at cathedrals across the country to express gratitude for the liberation of the nation and the restoration of world peace.
In Myeongdong Cathedral in Seoul, large national flags are hoisted during Solemnity Masses on Aug. 15.