Pope focuses on peace, reconciliation in Koreas during Aug. 14-18 trip

Pope Francis will beatify 124 Korean martyrs and celebrate a Mass of peace and reconciliation on the war-divided peninsula during his upcoming visit to South Korea.

The Vatican on Wednesday released details of the pope's busy Aug. 14-18 trip, during which he will participate in an Asian Catholic youth festival and encourage lay and religious missionaries. The visit will be the first time in 25 years that a pope has visited the Korean peninsula.

One of the highlights will be a beatification Mass Aug. 16 for 124 Korean martyrs killed during the anti-Christian persecution of the 17th and 18th centuries.

Seoul's current archbishop, Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, is a descendant of the lay missionaries who brought Christianity to the Korean peninsula, some of whom were executed during the anti-Christian backlash.