Korean ship accident’s fifth anniversary observed in Rome

By Matters India Reporter

Rome, April 18, 2019: Priests and nuns from Korea living in Rome gathered at the Gregorian University Chapel on April 16 to remember the 304 victims of a ship accident in Korea five years ago.

The Korean ambassador to the Vatican and his wife were among the 100 people present at the Mass.

In the homily while sharing the grief of the families of those students, the priest said, “They were high school students set out to celebrate their graduation with their teachers. Aware of the impending danger, they were ready with life jackets to jump into the sea to be saved, and waited for the signal. But the signal never came. And the ship sank with them inside. We listen to the silence of the dead students. We remember Jesus calmly resisting the power of hatred and injustice. Jesus continues to love every one of us.”

The cause of death has not yet been revealed. And it remains a mystery to all of us. Why the students were not saved?” one of the participants shared her agony.

The Sewol ferry was carrying 476 people, mostly secondary school students from Danwon High School, Ansan City. They were going from Incheon toward Jejuin South Korea.

The Mass in Rome
The students, aged 16-17, and with their teachers, were on a trip to celebrate before their graduation from the school.

One of the teachers, who had jumped into the sea, saved about 20 students from the sinking ship through a small door. Undergoing a trauma after the incident, and unable to take food due to sorrow, he died a few months later, one of the participants recalled.

The 6,875-ton vessel sent a distress signal from about 2.7 kilometers north of Byeongpungdo.

About 172 passengers were saved by fishing boats and commercial vessels that arrived at the scene.

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