Pope Francis sent a video message to the people of Japan, and urged them to protect all life and to pray for his upcoming Apostolic Journey.
The Pope mentioned the theme of his 23-26 November visit: “Protect All Life”.
Vatican News Transcript of the Pope’s video message:
As I prepare for my upcoming visit to Japan, I would like to address to you these words of friendship.
The theme chosen for my visit is "Protect All Life". This strong instinct, which resonates in our hearts – to defend the value and dignity of every human person – takes on particular importance in light of the threats to peaceful coexistence that the world faces today, especially in armed conflicts.
Your country is well aware of the suffering caused by war. Together with you, I pray that the destructive power of nuclear weapons will never be unleashed again in human history. The use of nuclear weapons is immoral.
You also know the importance of a culture of dialogue, of fraternity, especially among different religious traditions, which can help to overcome division, promote respect for human dignity, and advance the integral development of all peoples.
I trust that my visit will encourage you along the path of mutual respect and encounter that leads to a secure and lasting peace, which never turns back upon itself. Peace is beautiful. And when it is real, it does not retreat: it defends itself with every ounce of strength.
I will also have the opportunity to appreciate the vast natural beauty that characterizes your nation, and express our shared desire to promote and strengthen the protection of all life, which includes the earth, our common home, which your culture beautifully symbolizes with cherry blossoms.
I know there are many people who are working to prepare for my visit. I sincerely thank you for these efforts. In the hope that our time together will be rich in grace and joy, I assure you of my heartfelt prayer for each and every one of you.
I ask you, please, to also pray for me. Thank you very much.