Pope Francis has expressed deep gratitude to Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung of Seoul
for his work for peace on the Korean Peninsula and encouraged young pilgrims to become peace builders. Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin
and Archbishop Edgar Pena Parra, substitute for general affairs of the Secretariat of State, sent letters to Cardinal Yeom and to young pilgrims on Oct. 31 on behalf of the pontiff. Seoul Archdiocese released the letters on Nov. 26. The letters were replies to 100 young pilgrims who wrote to Pope Francis expressing their desire to become workers for peace after joining the 2018 Wind of Peace pilgrimage along the demilitarized zone dividing the two Koreas in August. Cardinal Yeom delivered the letter to the pope. In the letter to Cardinal Yeom, Cardinal Parolin wrote: "His Holiness has asked me to convey his deep gratitude for the devoted sentiments you expressed as he renews his prayer for lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula." In the letter to young pilgrims, Archbishop Parra wrote: "Pope Francis was pleased to receive your letter, and he has asked me to thank you in his name. His Holiness hopes that the graces of the pilgrimage may inspire all people to cooperate in building a world founded on fraternal solidarity and enduring peace." Seoul Archdiocese's Committee for the Reconciliation of the Korean People, organizer of the peace pilgrimage, conveyed the letter from the Vatican to all participants. It also promised to develop the pilgrimage to become a more meaningful and fruitful event for young people from all over the world to feel and learn about peace. The Wind of Peace has been hosted by the archdiocese and sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Ministry of Unification since 2016. Youths from various regional and cultural backgrounds make a pilgrimage to the demilitarized zone, a landmark of Korea's painful history
. Almost 100 youngsters from Laos, Mexico, Malta, the U.S., India, China, Pakistan and South Korea took part in this year's pilgrimage and experienced a wide range of peace programs.