“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
Seoul Archbishop’s Message for the Feast of Assumption of Mary
Korea was liberated from the Japanese imperialism on August 15, 1945, and the day was also the Feast of the Assumption of Mary. The Catholic Church in Korea sees the liberation as a gift of the Blessed Mary, and has been celebrating Holy Masses throughout the country every year to give thanks to Her.
In Myeongdong Cathedral, two “Taegeukgi (the national flag of Korea)” is hung on both sides of the altar every year during the Holy Mass on August 15.
The following is the full text of Cardinal Yeom Soo-jung’s message for the 2016 Feast of the Assumption of Mary:
Today we celebrate both the Feast of the Assumption of Mary and the liberation Day of Korea. It is the day we remember how Virgin Mary was specially blessed by the Lord for her deep faith.
Not long after liberation from the Japanese colonial rule, our country was torn apart. We have stayed divided as South and North Korea for 71 years. We have aimed our guns and weapons toward those who share the same blood with us. We have left scars on ourselves that could never be erased. Nowadays when we see the conflicts in our society, we realize that the weapons used to aim at our brothers were in fact being used against ourselves, too.
As Pope Francis said, genuine peace between countries is not built through power or war but through political and diplomatic efforts. Terrorism and punishments will only result in the vicious cycle of revenge. It is not easy to overcome the horrendous suffering and pain of war. When we think about the continuous terror attacks around the world and the confrontation between the two Koreas, we can hardly see a solution. However, we should not judge by human standards; we should trust in the Lord, as Mary did, and believe that the impossible will be made possible.
This year the Catholic Church celebrates the Jubilee of Mercy. Mercy is embracing other people, with all of the diversity that comes with them. Mercy is building peace, by endless efforts and continuous dialogue. As it is written in the Bible, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Those who devote themselves to making peace are brothers and sisters in Christ.
Peacebuilding for the Korean Peninsula is first and foremost our duty as Christians of Korea. Let us continue to pray, and look for more effective ways to put our prayer into action.
Virgin Mary, Mother of Peace! Pray for our country. Pray for the genuine reconciliation and peace in the Korean peninsula. Amen.
Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung
Archbishop of Seoul
2016 Feast of Assumption of Mary