GREETING OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
TO THE CHILDREN OF ITALIAN CATHOLIC ACTION
Hall of the Consistory
Thursday, December 20th 2017
Dear boys and girls of the ACR (Acierre),
It's always nice to meet you near Christmas - to hear "one, two, three!" -. I greet you with affection. I also greet those who accompany you: the National President of Italian Catholic Action, Dr. Matteo Truffelli, the Assistant General, Mons. Gualtiero Sigismondi, your educators and all those who collaborate at the national level. It is a gift of God, to which we always thank, the fact of having adults, priests and laity, who are so concerned with your human and Christian formation; and therefore you must pray for them, so that they may have wisdom and patience to do this service well!
I know that this year your formation journey is centered on the theme of the encounter between Jesus and the two sisters Martha and Mary of Bethany, as narrated by the evangelist Luke. Starting from this episode, you and the other children of all the Italian dioceses are rediscovering the call to be friends of Jesus, to know him better and better, to meet him every day in prayer, in order to be his missionaries. It is about transmitting a beautiful announcement, a message of salvation to your peers, and also to adults. And what is this message? May we all be loved by the Lord: this is the true and great, good news that God has given to the world with the coming of his Son Jesus among us. All of us are loved by the Lord. He loves us! All together and one by one. This is nice!
I am happy that, together with the formative journey, always carry forward a gesture, an initiative of charity. This year is intended to support the right to food and the dignity of those who work the land. I really appreciate this choice, and I encourage it.
And then I thank you for your gift that will go to Apostolic Apostles, a very useful thing, that is, the products that will be used for the personal hygiene of many poor people. Thanks for thinking about this!
Dear children, at Christmas, once again, Jesus wants to be born in you, in your heart, to give you the true joy that no one can take away from you. And you, offer this joy to the other boys who live in situations of suffering, moments of difficulty, especially those you see more alone and perhaps mistreated. Be with all generous "channels" of goodness and welcome, to build a more fraternal, more supportive, more Christian world.
I wish a happy and holy Christmas to you, to your families and to all of Catholic Action. I bless you heartily and ask you to please pray for me. Do not forget, please. Thank you!