Vatican City, 14 March 2015 (VIS) – On the afternoon of Thursday, 12 March, the Pope celebrated Holy Mass in St. Peter's Basilica with the Korean community of Rome, accompanied by prelates from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea, in Rome on their “ad Limina” visit and whom Pope Francis had received in audience in the morning. In his homily, the Pope spoke about the laity, who carried forth the Church for two centuries, encouraging them to be as courageous as the first faithful; he urged all those present to be aware of this responsibility.
He went on to mention Korea's martyrs, and emphasised that the seedbed of the Church has been watered with their blood and thus given life. “Do not give up. Be on your guard against 'religious wellbeing'”, he said. “If you do not go ahead with the strength of faith, with the zeal and love of Jesus Christ, if you become soft – 'rosewater Christians', weak – your faith will diminish”. The Pope also highlighted the importance of being sons of martyrs, adding that “apostolic zeal is not negotiable. … You are a Church of martyrs, and this is a promise for all Asia. Keep going, and do not give up. No spiritual worldliness, nothing. No easy Catholicism, without zeal. No religious wellbeing. Love for Jesus Christ, love for Jesus Christ's Cross, and love for your history”.