Using the global Twitter network, the Holy Father tweeted: “Please join me in praying for the victims of the ferry disaster in Korea and their families."
The shuttle ferry, the Sewol, sank last Wednesday, carrying 476 passengers on board. Many of them – more than 300 - were high school students on a school trip to the holiday island of Jeju.
Some 190 passengers are still missing or presumed trapped inside the vessel. There were 174 passengers rescued.
Pope Francis is due to visit South Korea this August for Asian Youth Day, August 14-18, and the beatification of 124 Korean martyrs. (D.C.L.)