VIDEOMESSAGE OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
ON THE OCCASION OF THE INAUGURATION IN BANGUI
OF THE NEW HEALTH CENTER OF THE BAMBINO GESÙ HOSPITAL
Dear friends of the Bangui Pediatric Hospital,
with joy I greet all of you on the festive occasion of the inauguration of the new health facility dedicated to the children of the Central African Republic. This site was founded with the support of the "Bambino Gesù" Pediatric Hospital, engaged since spring 2016 in the training of medical personnel and more. I hope that it can become a center of excellence, where children can find answers and relief to their suffering, with tenderness and love. I do not forget! I keep in my heart the painful eyes of the many malnourished children I met during my brief visit to the hospital on the occasion of your trip to your country.
And I still remember the words of the doctor who was next to me: "These will mostly die, because they have malaria, strong, and they are malnourished." I heard it. No, this no longer has to happen! The suffering of children is undoubtedly the hardest to accept. The great Dostoevsky asked the question: "Why do children suffer?". So many times I ask myself the same thing: why do children suffer? And I can not find an explanation. I only look at the Crucified and invoke the merciful love of the Father for so much suffering.
This structure that is inaugurated today is a concrete sign of mercy, which finds its origin in the Holy Year that I wanted to open early - November 29, 2015 - right in Bangui. The first door of a cathedral to open was that of Bangui, not that of St. Peter. It was a gesture that the Lord inspired. Crossing the Holy Door of the Cathedral, I said: «Bangui becomes the spiritual capital of prayer for the Father's mercy. We all ask for peace, mercy, reconciliation, forgiveness, love ". I like to think that the Holy Door is still open and that the river of mercy gives life to this Pediatric Hospital and to all those who work there. Always remember: "There are many concrete signs of goodness and tenderness for the smallest and most defenseless, the most alone and abandoned. There really are charity protagonists who do not want to lack solidarity with the poorest and most unhappy people "(Letter apex Misericordia et Misera, 17).
Therefore I encourage all of you to carry out your work of caring for children, driven by charity, always thinking of the "Good Samaritan" of the Gospel: be attentive to the needs of your little patients, bend with tenderness on their frailties, and in them you can see the Lord. Who serves the sick with love serves Jesus who opens the kingdom of heaven to us. This hospital reminds all of us that what we are experiencing "is the time of mercy so that those who are weak and defenseless, far away and alone can grasp the presence of brothers and sisters who support them in need" (ibid., 21).
Dear brothers and sisters, by practicing your medical profession, be artisans of mercy!
A deferential greeting to Mr. President Faustin-Archange Touadéra. I also greet the Apostolic Nuncio, mgr. Santiago De Wit Guzmán and the President of the Bambino Gesù Hospital, Mrs. Mariella Enoc, who have spent so much for this work. And a greeting to Cardinal Konrad [Krajewski], who makes the charity of the Pope present in the world. Who takes care of the little ones is on God's side. Do not forget: those who take care of the little ones are on the side of God and win the culture of the gap! May this new hospital become a model and point of reference for the whole country. Remember: in the sick person there is Christ and in the love of someone bending over his wounds there is the way to meet him!
I bless you! And please, do not forget to pray for me! Thank you.