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Friday, August 29, 2014

Asian Youth! Wake Up! The Glory of the Martyrs Shines on You. - Part 2 (The Daejon Experience)

BY DS / st
DAY 1 AT DAEJON  ~ 'COME AND SEE'
After the 3-day 'Days in the Diocese' program, the young people convened at Daejon - a place which holds the bloodiest history of Catholic Martyrdom. It is also a home to the greatest concentration of Catholic Shrines. On the 12th of August, the youths came together at the Solmoe Shrine where the first Korean Catholic Priest was born, St. Andrew Kim Dae Geon, to celebrate the Opening Mass with Bishop Lazzaro You Heung Sik, the Bishop of Daejon Diocese. The prelate shared on the history of St. Andrew Kim Dae Geon and encouraged the young people to follow the footsteps of the  martyr. 
"Only through faith and joy of the gospel, in solidarity with one another we will make our dreams come true" - Bishop Lazzaro.
DAY 2 AT DAEJON - 'LET'S DISCOVER THE ROOT OF OUR FAITH'
Exhibition by each country 
On the second day at Daejon, 13th August 2014, the program started with a play, acted out by the Azariah's Youth Mission. The play portrayed how the Catholic Church began in Korea. Through the effort and prayer of lay people in Korea, the Catholic faith spread far and wide. The play also embodied the spirit of the early believers of Jesus in Korea and their desire to learn about Him.  In the afternoon, the youths in their assigned groups shared about their faith journey, followed by mass. A group of young adults, calling themselves GEN led the closing prayer. GEN stands for new generation, which is spread across 180 countries around the world.
Day 3 AT DAEJON - 'Youth, Knock!'
On the third day, 14th August 2014 the program commenced with a mass followed by a workshop. The focus of the workshop was on the meaning of martyrdom in connection with their life. They shared about the form of contemporary persecutions and what they should do as young Christians. The workshops were in the form of lecture, skill building and also witnessing. 

In the afternoon, delegates gathered once again at Solmoe Shrine to meet Pope Francis. During the first gathering of the young people in Solmoe Shrine, three young people from South Korea, Hong Kong and Cambodia shared their struggles in life. The challenges faced by many young people in their respective country, disturbed and shaken in their Catholic faith, prompted them to question about their identity, 
Pope Francis responded to their sharing by reminding the young people that Christ is knocking at the door of their heart. He asked them to go out from their comfort zone and knock on the doors of other people’s hearts, inviting them to welcome Him into their lives. He urged them to rise, to be alert, and to see the things in life that really matter. 

Pope Francis also reminded the young people that the Church is meant to be the seed of unity for the whole human family because in Christ, all nations and peoples are called to unity which does not destroy diversity but acknowledges, reconciles and enriches it. He also mentioned that, we are weak and prone to doing wrong things but rest assured that the Father is always there waiting for us. God never tires of forgiving and he never stop waiting for us.
AYD comes as a hope to the young people. The presence of the Holy Father Pope Francis, cardinals, bishops, priests and religious brothers and sisters assures us that the Church is here to take care of us and we are safe in the hands of Jesus Christ, surrounded by the witness and glory of the martyrs.

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