Saint Peter's Square
Sunday, 12 June 2016
Dear Brothers and Sisters!
Yesterday, in Vercelli, Fr Giacomo Abbondo was proclaimed Blessed. He lived in the 1700’s, in love with God, educated and always available to his parishioners. Let us join in the joy and thanksgiving of the Diocese of Vercelli. As well as with that of Monreale, where today Sr Carolina Santocanale, Foundress of the Capuchin Sisters of the Immaculata of Lourdes, was also beatified. Born to a noble family in Palermo, she chose to leave comfort behind and become “poor among the poor”. It was from Christ, especially in the Eucharist, that she drew strength for her spiritual motherhood and her tenderness for the weak.
In the context of the Jubilee of the Sick, in recent days an International Congress dedicated to people affected by Hansen’s disease was held in Rome. With gratitude I greet the organizers and participants and I wish them fruitful results in their fight against this disease.
Today is the World Day Against Child Labour. United together, let us renew our efforts to eradicate the causes of this form of modern slavery, which deprives millions of children of their fundamental rights and exposes them to grave dangers. Today there are so many child slaves in the world!
I affectionately greet all the pilgrims from Italy and other countries for this Jubilee Day. In a special way, I thank you, who in your condition or disability wanted to be present. Heartfelt thanks also goes to the doctors and healthcare workers who, at the “health points” set up around the four Papal Basilicas, are offering specialized check-ups to the hundreds of people who live on the outskirts of Rome. Thank you very much!
May the Virgin Mary, to whom we turn now in prayer, always be with us on our journey.