Friday, February 16, 2018

Greetings for supporters of Peter's See

At 12:20am today (6:20am EST) in the Clementine Hall at the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father, Pope Francis received in audience the members of the Pro Petri Sede Association who are in Rome to make their traditional pilgrimage.

Greetings of the Holy Father, Pope Francis
for the Pro Petri Sede Association

Dear friends,

I welcome you with joy, members of the Pro Petri Sede Association, who have come on pilgrimage to the tomb of the Apostle Peter to reaffirm your faith and to renew yourselves in your mission of charity toward others.

Your visit is taking place at the beginning of Lent, a favourable time to refocus ourselves on the heart of our Christian faith and the mission of the Church, a mission in which all the baptized should participate.  Faced with the observation of a world that is marked by indifference, violence, egotism and pessimism, it is useful to ask ourselves today if we are not suffering from a lack of charity both in our hearts and in our relationships: with God and with others.  This is the question that I asked in my Message for Lent 2018: has charity been extinguished within our hearts?  It is worthwhile to look truth in the face!  And to use the remedies that God himself gives to us in the Church.  Prayer puts us back on the path of truth about ourselves and about god; fasting allows us to share the situation that faces many people who must live with the torment of hunger and makes us more attentive to others;  almsgiving is a blessed occasion for us to collaborate with God's Providence and to help our brothers and sisters.  I invite you to make almsgiving a part of your life and to persevere in providing concrete help to those who are in need.  Your commitment requires you to always be attentive to offering, in addition to material assistance, the warmth of feeling welcome, the delicacy of respect and fraternity, without which no one can rediscover courage and renewed hope for the future.

I renew my appreciation and my encouragement for your mission, inviting you to keep it every day in your personal and community prayer, remembering the people you support.  Entrusting them to the Lord is also part of your mission, and in this way you help to strengthen ecclesial communion, for we are all children of the same Father.  With the generous offering that you present today to the Successor of Peter, you are contributing to the mission of the Church to support all people, especially those who are poor and those who have lost everything because of forced emigration.  In their name, I thank you for your help and for your spiritual closeness.

Dear friends, let us ask the Lord to convert our hearts so that charity may increase on the earth and so that conflicts may finally cease, as well as the numerous evils that exist.  May this pilgrimage help charity within you to grow, as well as a desire to confess your faith every day and to bear witness to your faith wherever you live!  I also invite you to pray for young people, that the upcoming Synod which will be dedicated to them may particularly allow for a resurgence of priestly and religious vocations in your countries.

Entrusting every one of you and your families, as well as the members of your Association, to the intercession of the Virgin Mary, Saint Peter and the Saints of your respective homelands, I willingly impart my Apostolic blessing.  And I ask you: please do not forget to pray for me.

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