Archbishop Gallagher offers Mass at the Seosumun Shrine 

By Christopher Wells

Nov 23 2023

The Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States and International Organizations, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, celebrates Mass at the Seosumun Shrine to commemorate sixty years of diplomatic relations between the Holy See and South Korea.

In his homily during a Mass celebrated to commemorate sixty years of diplomatic ties between the Holy See and South Korea, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher highlighted the history of the Church in the country, beginning with those who first brought the Gospel to this land.

An enduring commitment to society

“The first evangelizers of the ‘Land of Morning Calm’ were lay people and scholars who learned Christian doctrine without the help of foreign missionaries,” he stated.

The Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States and International Organizations continued, “They discovered faith within the context of their administrative and academic work, a testament to the deeply rooted public aspect of being disciples of Christ in Korea.”

He invited those present to “treasure this rich heritage and continue the legacy of those who, under the banner of the Catholic faith, laid the foundation for our enduring commitment to society.”

On the feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Archbishop Gallagher said, “Mary’s consecration to the Lord opened access to grace for all people and gave birth to a new community of brothers and sisters in Christ; in the same way, the faith and devotion of each Christian has the potential to bear abundant fruit for the entire human family.”

Six decades of shared values and mutual respect

The Seosomun Shrine commemorates the early Korean martyrs, especially the 103 martyrs canonized there by Pope St. John Paul II in 1984.

“The Mass at Seosomun Shrine History Museum served as a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by these martyrs and the resilience of the Korean Catholic community,” according to a press release issued by the Archdiocese of Seoul.

The Archdiocese added, “The event served as a powerful testament to the enduring friendship and collaboration between the Holy See and South Korea, setting the tone for continued diplomatic relations. The Mass at Seosomun Shrine History Museum provided a unique moment of reflection and unity, celebrating six decades of shared values and mutual respect.” – Vatican News