At the Regina Caeli Pope Francis remembers the violence suffered by Christians, Muslims and yazides, and asks all involved to follow "the path of dialogue and reconciliation." In Fatima "immersed in the prayers of the holy faithful people". Sainthood of Francisco and Jacinta "is not a consequence of the apparitions, but of the fidelity and they have paid for the privilege of being able to see the Virgin Mary." "Even today there is a great need for prayer and penance." Greetings sent to "Empty Prams" protesters and calls for" a concrete attention to life and maternity needs". On the Mother's Day, "let's remember with gratitude and affection all the mothers, trusting them to Mary, the mother of Jesus.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "I entrust to Mary, Queen of Peace, the fate of people affected by wars and conflicts, especially in the Middle East": said Pope Francis after the Regina Caeli prayer, the first after the His return last night from the pilgrimage to the sanctuary of Fatima on May 12 and 13.
To the tens of thousands of faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square, the Pope recalled the violence and suffering that continue in Syria, Iraq and Yemen: "Many innocent people are severely tried, both Christian and Muslim, and belonging to minorities like the yazides, who suffer tragic violence and discrimination. My solidarity accompanies them in prayer, while I thank those who are committed to helping humanitarian needs. I encourage the various communities to travel the path of dialogue and social friendship to build a future of respect, security and peace."
Earlier the pontiff explained the meaning of his journey to Fatima, on the centenary of the apparitions of Our Lady to the three shepherds Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta, and where he also canonized the last two children to the first to be declared saints without being martyrs.
"In Fatima," he said, I was immersed in the prayer of the holy faithful people, who have been praying there for a hundred years like a river, for Mary's maternal protection on the whole world. I give thanks to the Lord who has allowed me to come to the feet of the Virgin Mother as a pilgrim of hope and peace. And I thank the Bishops, the State Authorities and all those who have offered their heartfelt cooperation."
"From the very beginning," he continued, "from the long moment of silent reflection in the Chapel of the Apparitions, accompanied by the silent prayer of all the pilgrims, a contemplative and meditative climate was created where the various moments of prayer took place. And in the centre of everything was and is the Risen Lord, present in the midst of His people in the Word and in the Eucharist. Present among the many sick, who are protagonists of the liturgical and pastoral life of Fatima, like any Marian sanctuary. "
He then underlined the meaning of the canonization of the two shepherds: "In Fatima the Virgin chose the innocent heart and the simplicity of the little Francisco, Jacinta and Lucia, as depositors of her message. These children welcomed it so worthily as to be recognized as reliable witnesses of apparitions, and to become models of Christian life. And I wanted to say to the Church that she must take care of children. With the canonization of Francisco and Jacinta, I wanted to propose to the whole Church their example of adherence to Christ and of evangelical witness. Their holiness is not a consequence of the apparitions, but of the fidelity and the ardor with which they have paid the privilege received to be able to see the Virgin Mary. After meeting the "beautiful Lady," they frequently recited the Rosary, they did penance and offered sacrifices to end the war and divine mercy for the most needy souls of. "
"Even in our day - he concluded - there is so much need for prayer and penance to implore the grace of conversion, as well as the end of the absurd conflicts and violence that disfigure the face of humanity. Let us be guided by the light coming from Fatima. The Immaculate Heart of Mary is always our shelter, our consolation, and the way that leads us to Christ. "
Following the appeal for the Middle East, Francis recalled that yesterday in Dublin (Ireland) " Jesuit priest John Sullivan was proclaimed Blessed. Living in Ireland between the eighteenth and twentieth centuries, he devoted life to the teaching and formation of young people, and was loved and respected as a father by the poor and suffering. "
Among the final greetings, he has dedicated a special one to the Bordighera moms and participants in the event "Empty Prams" protest, who want to raise awareness about the problems connected to family life and the demographic winter. "The future of our societies - said the pontiff - requires all, especially the institutions, to give a concrete focus to life and maternity. This appeal is particularly significant today as it is Mother's Day in many countries; We remind ourselves with gratitude and affection for all mothers, entrusting them to Mary, the mother of Jesus." And he proposed everyone gather in a few moments of silent prayer for their mother.
Ahead of his pilgrimage to the Virgin's shrine the Pope sends a video message to the Portuguese people. The pilgrimage entitled "With Mary, Pilgrim in Hope and Peace" begins tomorrow and afternoon.
On St. Mark's Day, Pope Francis emphasizes the urgency of announcing the Gospel "on the road, never sitting still" without looking for "life insurance". The style of proclamation is humility. "The proclamation of the Gospel if it is true, suffers temptation." But "He works with us."