(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Monday thanked the Vatican Public Security forces, an Italian force established in 1945, for their “discreet but attentive” supervision of areas around the Vatican, especially St. Peter’s Square.
The Pope expressed his profound appreciation for their service, saying “we are all aware of the need to work continuously to ensure that this unique site is protected and that its character as a sacred and universal space is preserved.”
He noted that thanks to them, the pilgrims and tourists who flood the square “are serene, move tranquilly about, enjoying a sense of peace.”
Observing that their work calls for “technical and professional preparation together with attentive surveillance and kindness and dedication,” he pointed to the times when large numbers of pilgrims flock to St. Peter’s Basilica to pray at the tombs of Saint Peter “and those of his successors, especially John XXIII and John Paul II.”
“Pilgrims and tourists,” he said, “just as those who work in the various offices of the Holy See, know they can count on your cordial assistance.”
Pope Francis thanked them especially for their “effective activity carried out during the days that preceded the Conclave, following the resignation of Pope Benedict” and reiterated his appreciation for the contributions of all those who helped make that period of transition pass in a smooth and orderly fashion.
He expressed his hope that the period they work in the Vatican will be for each one of them “an opportunity to grow in the faith.” “The faith is the most precious gift that your families have given to you and you are called to transmit it to your children.”
“It is important,” the Pope concluded, “to rediscover the message of the Gospel” and to assimilate it in their daily lives, giving “courageous witness to God’s love” in every environment, even in the workplace.”
Text from Vatican Radio website