Jueves, 03 de octubre de 2013


October 3, 2013

Message of His Eminence, Fernando Cardinal Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples


It is with great pleasure that I take this opportunity to express my congratulations and best wishes on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of the Diocese of Suwon.

As we all know, the fruitful work of evangelization in this area was made possible by the preparation of fertile soil by John Baptist YI Byeok and his companions, who, in their passionate search for the Truth, laid the foundation for the beginnings of the Christian community in Korea. In the middle of the Nineteenth Century, they were followed by the Religious Priests of the Society of the Foreign Missions of Paris (M.E.P.), who tirelessly proclaimed the Word of God and administered the Sacraments to the people of this region of Korea, awakening new vocations and dedicating themselves to the training of the first native priests. The many hardships and persecutions they endured often led them to their deaths. It is providential that the celebrations for the Jubilee of the Diocese of Suwon take place at the end of the Year of Faith, in grateful commemoration of all those who laid down their lives for the Gospel in this glorious Land.

Blossoming forth from the seed planted by these faithful witnesses to the Faith, great developments have taken place in this portion of God’s People, since its elevation to the status of a Diocese by the Servant of God, Pope Paul VI, on October 7th, 1963, through the Papal Bull Summi Pastoris, and the subsequent appointment of its first Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Victorinus Youn Kong-hi. The Pope established this new Diocese while the Second Session of the Council unfolded in Rome and the Council Fathers were preparing the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium. Hence, we can affirm that the Diocese of Suwon was born from the side of the Council, as part of a divine, “hidden plan of … wisdom and goodness” (LG, 2). Today, after a half-century of the pilgrimage of faith, the Diocese of Suwon is home to hundreds of thousands of Catholic faithful, served in many parishes by numerous Diocesan and Religious Priests, with the generous assistance of Religious Sisters and Brothers. The Diocese is also blessed with a good number of vocations to the Priesthood and to the Consecrated Life.

Therefore, as you celebrate this great milestone in the history of the Diocese of Suwon – the 50th Anniversary of its creation – this blessed time should be marked by grateful remembrances of the countless religious, lay people and missionaries, who shared the treasure of their Faith. These selfless witnesses still speak to us, encouraging us to move forward into the future with the very same words of St. Paul: “Keep on doing what you have learned and received, and heard and seen in me. Then the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:9).

Our hearts are also grateful to all those who followed in their footsteps and strengthened the Church in Suwon throughout these past fifty years, sustained by the grace of the Risen Christ always present in their midst.

          Let this time of celebration be a source of true joy for every faithful believer in the Diocese of Suwon, and a strong motivation to continue being beacons of light and a ray of hope to the people of Korea. As we conclude the Year of Faith, this Golden Jubilee compels us to a renewed missionary commitment, since “faith grows when it is lived as an experience of love received, and when it is communicated as an experience of grace and joy” (Pope Benedict XVI, Porta Fidei n.7).

On behalf of our Holy Father, Pope Francis, I impart the Apostolic Blessing to all the faithful of the Diocese of Suwon, commending each of you to the maternal intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church. 

October 3, 2013

+ Cardinal Fernando Filoni

Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples

                                                                     VATICAN CITY

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