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Korean clergymen, welfare workers receive Pope Francis' blessing in Vatican

Korean clergymen, welfare workers receive Pope Francis' blessing in Vatican

Posted June. 15, 2017 07:16,   

Updated June. 15, 2017 07:36

The clergymen and volunteer workers at Kkottongnae (Flower Village), a religious congregation provides both food and pastoral care to the residents in Eumseong, North Chungcheong Province, have received Pope Francis' blessing at St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City.

Father Oh Woong-jin, the founder of Kkotdongnae, and his company were invited to the podium during the weekly papal audience session held at St. Peter's Square every Wednesday. Pope Francis welcomed them, saying he had already met with them three times in South Korea, Rome and the Philippines. The Kkotdongnae people carried the cornerstones of the Pope Francis Center and the Cardinal Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk Center -- each weighing 12 kilograms -- in their backpacks to receive the Papal blessing.

The Pope Francis Center is a prayer house for Korea's national reunification that is under construction on South Korea's Ganghwa Island to mark Popo Francis' 2014 visit to Kkottongnae. The Cardinal Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk Center is a charnel house at the cemetery for Kkottongnae residents and people who died on the streets without family or friends.

Kkottongnae nuns studying in Rome do voluntary work at the showers for the homeless in Rome every Wednesday. Nun Simone Yoon said some homeless people in Rome who received the Pope's blessing said their scars were healed and that the day was the their happiest day in their homeless life.

Seung-Hoon Cheon raphy@donga.com