In Pictures

In pictures: Pope beatifies South Korea Catholic martyrs

Pope Francis was greeted by hundreds of thousands of Catholics in South Korea, as he delivered a large open-air Mass during which he beatified 124 of the country's first Catholics.

Image copyright Wonsuk Choi/AFP/Getty Images

Many of the attendees were invited through their local churches from across the country. Local media reports said the crowd topped one million.

Image copyright VINCENZO PINTO/AFP/Getty Images

Throngs of people turned up to welcome the pope's motorcade as it made its way towards the site of Mass in Gwanghwamun square.

Image copyright AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon

Gwanghwamun Plaza - the city's main thoroughfare - led to the site where many Catholic martyrs were publicly executed in the 18th and 19th Centuries.

Image copyright Wonsuk Choi/AFP/Getty Images

The pope said the lessons to be learned from the martyrs were as important as ever in societies "where, alongside immense wealth, dire poverty is silently growing".

Image copyright AP/Gregorio Borgia
Image copyright Gregorio Borgia/AP

Dozens of goblets were laid out in preparation for the beatification ceremony.

Image copyright VINCENZO PINTO/AFP

Cheers from the crowd erupted when Pope Francis declared the 124 Catholic martyrs "blessed" - the first step toward possible sainthood.

Image copyright AFP/VINCENZO PINTO

A massive security operation was in force, with bridges, roads and underground stations closed and police snipers deployed to the roofs of nearby buildings.

Image copyright ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images

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