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Friday, January 13, 2017

Speaking about public security

At noon today, in the Clementine Hall at the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father, Pope Francis received in audience the Directors, Managers and Agents of the Vatican's Public Security Inspectorate to exchange with them his greetings for the new year.

Speech of the Holy Father, Pope Francis
addressed to members of the
Vatican's Public Security Inspectorate

Mister Police Chief,
Prefect Bellesini,
dear Offficers and Agents!

This year too, I am particularly pleased to meet you for the exchange of greetings for the new year which has just begun.  I offer to all of you my most cordial greetings, especially to Doctor MAria Rosaria Maiorino, who I thank for her courteous words.  I greet the members of the Vatican Inspectorate of Public Security as well as the other managers and officials of the State Police and Chaplains led by their national Coordinator.

I want to express to each of you my esteem and my sincere gratitude for your generous service, which has its own difficulties and risks.  I know that you put yourselves at risk.  You are, in a certain sense, the guardian angels of Saint Peter's Square.  Every day, in fact, you care for this particular centre of Christianity, and other places which have relevance to the Vatican, with great care, professionalism and a sense of duty.  And especially in recent times, you have demonstrated competence and courage in facing many challenges and various dangers, committed with generosity to the prevention of crime.  Thus you have provided secure access for pilgrims who come to the Basilica, and for those who have come to meet the Successor of Peter.  For all of this, I thank you very much!  I thank you; these are not only words; for a I thank you will all my heart: thank you!  I know the effort put into your work and the sacrifices that you must make every day.  Know that they are appreciated very much and that I often think of you and your precious work with gratitude.

The Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, an event of unique spiritual relevance, saw many pilgrims come to Rome during the past months from all corners of the world.  You too were called to undertake a major commitment, to ensure that the celebrations and events associated with the Jubilee could take place in an atmosphere of security and serenity.  The external order, which you provided with such diligence, careful attention and constant availability, therefore helped to foster the interior experience for the pilgrims, in search of peace and an encounter with the Lord's mercy.

We have just concluded the season of Christmas, during which we focused on Bethlehem, the land and the family that became the dwelling place of Jesus.  Christmas inspired us to measure ourselves once again by the abasement of the Son of god, who wished to make himself like us in all things, except for sin, in order to help us understand how much he has loved us and how much we are loved.
 This immeasurable love is a constant invitation to change our hearts and to welcome, to work for solidarity and forgiveness toward our brothers.  In this way, we will experience within us the peace that the angels proclaimed to men of good will in Bethlehem.

Dear brothers and sisters, may the Lord protect you in the fulfillment of the task that you are carrying out in collaboration with the other Italian and Vatican Security Forces.  May the Virgin Mary, the tender Mother of Jesus and our mother help you.  To Her, I entrust each one of you and your families.  Renewing my heartfelt gratitude for your work and for the tenacity and fidelity with which you carry it out, I ask you please to pray for me and with all my heart, I impart my Apostolic blessing.
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