"Please join me in praying for the victims of the ferry disaster in Korea and their families," Francis said in a tweet published on his Twitter account @pontifex.
Francis is due to make a five-day visit in August to South Korea, which has more than five million Catholics — around 10 percent of the population.
He will be the first pope to visit Asia since John Paul II. His predecessor Benedict XVI did not travel there during his eight-year pontificate.
Please join me in praying for the victims of the ferry disaster in Korea and their families
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) April 19, 2014
On Good Friday the pontiff attended an emotional night of prayers for hot-button social issues including domestic abuse, prison overcrowding and unemployment in Rome.
The candle-lit Way of the Cross procession ceremony was held outside the Colosseum in Rome in memory of the Christians killed for their faith.