GENERAL AUDIENCE (Video below)
St. Peter's Square
Wednesday, 11 September 2019
Catechesis on the Apostolic Journey to Mozambique, Madagascar and Mauritius
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
Last night I returned from the Apostolic Journey to Mozambique, Madagascar and Mauritius. I thank God who has allowed me to make this journey as a pilgrim of peace and hope, and I renew the expression of my gratitude to the respective Authorities of these States, as well as to the Episcopates, who have invited me and welcomed me with so much affection and care , and the Apostolic Nuncios, who have worked so much for this journey.
The hope of the world is Christ, and his Gospel is the most powerful leaven of fraternity, freedom, justice and peace for all peoples. With my visit, in the footsteps of holy evangelizers, I tried to bring this leaven, the leaven of Jesus, to the Mozambican, Malagasy and Mauritian populations.
In Mozambique I went to spread seeds of hope, peace and reconciliation in a land that has suffered so much in the recent past due to a long armed conflict, and that last spring was hit by two cyclones that caused very serious damage. The Church continues to accompany the peace process, which has taken a step forward even on 1 August with a new agreement between the parties. And here I would like to pause to thank the Community of Sant Egidio who has worked so hard, both in this peace process.
In this sense I encouraged the Authorities of the country, urging them to work together for the common good. And I encouraged the young people, who gathered from different religious backgrounds, to build the country, overcoming resignation and anxiety, spreading social friendship and treasuring the traditions of the elderly. To the bishops, priests and consecrated persons, whom I met in the Cathedral of Maputo, named after the Immaculate Virgin, I proposed the path of Nazareth, the path of the "yes" generous to God, in the grateful memory of his call and of his origins . A strong sign of this evangelical presence is the Zimpeto Hospital, on the outskirts of the capital, built with the commitment of the Community of Sant Egidio. In this hospital I saw that the most important thing is the sick, and everyone works for the sick. Furthermore, not everyone has the same religious affiliation. The director of that hospital is a woman, a researcher, a good woman, a researcher on AIDS. She is Muslim, but she is the director and this hospital is a hospital made by the Community of Sant Egidio. But all, all together for the people, united, like brothers. My visit to Mozambique culminated in Mass, celebrated in the stadium in the rain, but we were all happy. The songs, the religious dances ... so much happiness. The rain didn't matter. And there resounded the appeal of the Lord Jesus: "Love your enemies" (Lk 6:27), the seed of true revolution, that of love, which extinguishes violence and generates fraternity.
From Maputo I moved to Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar. A country rich in natural beauty and resources, but marked by so much poverty. I hoped that, driven by its traditional spirit of solidarity, the Malagasy people could overcome adversity and build a future of development by combining respect for the environment and social justice. As a prophetic sign in this direction, I visited the "City of Friendship" - Akamasoa, founded by a Lazarist missionary, Father Pedro Opeka: there we try to combine work, dignity, care for the poorest, education for children. All animated by the Gospel. In Akamasoa, near the granite quarry, I raised the Prayer for the workers to God.
Then I had a meeting with the contemplative nuns of different congregations, in the Carmelite monastery: in fact, without faith and prayer, a city worthy of man is not built. With the Bishops of the country we renewed our commitment to be "sowers of peace and hope", taking care of the people of God, especially the poor, and our presbyters. Together we venerated the Blessed Victoire Rasoamanarivo, first Malagasy raised to the altars. With the many young people - many young people in that vigil, but many, many -, I lived a vigil full of testimonies, songs and dances.
In Antananarivo i the Sunday Eucharist is celebrated in the great "diocesan Camp": large crowds gathered around the Lord Jesus. And finally, in the Saint-Michel Institute, I met the priests, consecrated men and women and seminarians of Madagascar. An encounter in the sign of praise to God.
Monday was dedicated to a visit to the Republic of Mauritius, a well-known tourist destination, but which I chose as a place of integration between different ethnic groups and cultures. In fact, over the last two centuries, different populations have landed in that archipelago, especially from India; and after independence it experienced a strong economic and social development. There is strong interreligious dialogue, and also friendship between the heads of different religious denominations. Something that would seem strange to us, but they thus experience the friendship that is natural. When I entered the bishopric, I found a beautiful bouquet of flowers, beautiful: it was sent by the Great Imam as a sign of brotherhood.
Holy Mass in Mauritius was celebrated at the Monument of Mary Queen of Peace, in memory of Blessed Jacques-Désiré Laval, known as the "apostle of the Mauritian unity". The Gospel of the Beatitudes, the identity card of the disciples of Christ, in that context is an antidote against the temptation of selfish and discriminatory well-being. The Gospel and the Beatitudes are the antidote for this selfish and discriminatory well-being, and it is also the leaven of true happiness, imbued with mercy, justice and peace. I was struck by the work that the Bishops do for the evangelization of the poor. Later, in the meeting with the Authorities of Mauritius, I expressed my appreciation for the commitment to harmonize the differences in a common project, and I encouraged to continue the capacity of acceptance, as well as the effort of maintain and develop democratic life.
So, I arrived yesterday, in the evening, at the Vatican. Before starting a journey and returning, I always go to the Madonna, from the Salus Populi Romani, so that she may accompany me on the journey, as a Mother, to tell me what to do, to guard my words, my gestures. With the Madonna, I go safe.
Dear brothers and sisters, let us give thanks to God and ask him that the seeds thrown into this apostolic journey will bear abundant fruit for the peoples of Mozambique, Madagascar and Mauritius. Thank you!
Greetings in Various Languages:
Je suis heureux d’accueillir les pèlerins venant de France, en particulier l’Association Anuncio et les jeunes du lycée Saint-Augustin, de Paris. Je salue cordialement les pèlerins venus du Sénégal, accompagnés de Monseigneur André Gueye, évêque de Thiès. Que le Seigneur fasse de vous des artisans de fraternité, de liberté, de justice et de paix. Que Dieu vous bénisse !
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially those from England, Scotland, Ireland, Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Malta, Norway, Sweden, Zimbabwe, India, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates, Canada and the United States of America. Upon you and your families, I invoke the joy and peace of the Lord. May God bless you!
Einen herzlichen Gruß richte ich an die Pilger deutscher Sprache. Bitten wir die selige Jungfrau Maria, Königin des Friedens, um ihr mütterliches Geleit, dass jeder von uns zum Wachstum des Friedens und der Gerechtigkeit in der Welt beitragen kann.
Saludo cordialmente a los peregrinos de lengua española venidos de España y Latinoamérica; en modo particular saludo a los “Universitarios para el desarrollo”, que trabajan en zonas carenciadas de Argentina y misionan en El Bolsón, Río Negro, y La Viña, en Salta. A todos los invito a rezar por los frutos de este Viaje apostólico, para que el Señor siga sosteniendo a los habitantes de Mozambique, Madagascar y Mauricio, y a la Iglesia le conceda la valentía de seguir llevando el consuelo y la alegría del Evangelio. Que Dios los bendiga a todos.
Saúdo cordialmente os peregrinos de língua portuguesa, em particular os sacerdotes do Pontifício Colégio Brasileiro de Roma, a Associação coral Unicanto, de Londrina, e os grupos de fiéis de Nova Friburgo, de Faro e Leça da Palmeira. Encorajo-vos a ser por todo o lado testemunhas de esperança e caridade. E, se alguma vez a vida fizer desencadear turbulências espirituais no vosso coração, ide procurar refúgio sob o manto da Santa Mãe de Deus; somente lá encontrareis paz. Sobre vós e vossas famílias, desça a Bênção do Senhor!
أُرحّبُ بالحجّاجِ الناطقينَ باللّغةِ العربيّة، وخاصةً بمجموعة "أخوية شبيبة العذراء" في الذكرى الخامسة والعشرين على تأسيسها، يرافقها أسقف جبيل المطران ميشال عون. أيّها الإخوةُ والأخواتُ الأعزّاء، إسعوا لكي تنموا في الصداقة حتى مع الذين يفكّرون بطريقة مختلفة عنكم، لكي ينمو التضامن بينكم ويصبح السلاح الأفضل لتغيير التاريخ. ليبارككم الرب!
[I cordially welcome the Arabic-speaking pilgrims, in particular the group of the "Marian Youth Brotherhood" on the twenty-fifth anniversary of their foundation, accompanied by the bishop of Jbeil, Monsignor Michel Aoun. Dear brothers and sisters, try to grow in friendship, even with those who think differently, so that solidarity grows among you and becomes the best weapon to transform history. The Lord bless you!]
Pozdrawiam serdecznie pielgrzymów polskich. W sobotę przypada święto Podwyższenia Krzyża Świętego. W waszym kraju będzie ono dniem akcji ewangelizacyjnej nazwanej „Polska pod Krzyżem”. Uczestnicząc w licznych nabożeństwach, spotkaniach modlitewnych, trwajcie wraz z Maryją, Matką Bolesną u stóp Krzyża Jej Syna, prosząc o potrzebne łaski dla was, waszych rodzin i Ojczyzny. Wypraszajcie łaskę nawrócenia i opamiętania dla wielu, a przede wszystkim dar zwycięstwa dobra nad złem, które łatwo wkrada się do serca człowieka. Z serca wam błogosławię.
[I cordially greet the Polish pilgrims. Next Saturday is the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. In your country it will also be the day of the initiative for evangelization called "Poland under the Cross". By participating in numerous celebrations and prayer meetings, persevere together with Mary, the Sorrowful Mother under the Cross of her Son. Pray for the necessary graces for you, your families and your homeland. Beseech the grace of conversion and repentance for many, and above all for the gift of the victory of good over evil, which easily penetrates the human heart. I bless you from my heart.]
S láskou pozdravujem slovenských veriacich, osobitne účastníkov Štrnástej púte Ordinariátu ozbrojených síl a ozbrojených zborov Slovenskej republiky, vedených pánom biskupom Františkom Rábekom, ako aj pútnikov z farností Lozorno a Košice. Drahí bratia a sestry, zajtra budeme sláviť v liturgii spomienku presvätého Mena Panny Márie. Ona nech oroduje za vás a nech vás sprevádza na vašej ceste za Kristom. S týmto želaním zo srdca žehnám všetkých vás i vaše rodiny. Pochválený buď Ježiš Kristus!
[I greet with affection the Slovak faithful, in particular the participants in the Fourteenth Pilgrimage of the Military Ordinariate of the Slovak Republic, led by their Bishop, Bishop František Rábek, as well as the pilgrims from the parishes of Lozorno and Košice. Dear brothers and sisters, tomorrow we will celebrate the memory of the Most Holy Name of the Virgin Mary in the liturgy. May she intercede for you and accompany you on your journey to following Christ. With these vows I cordially bless you and your families. Praised be Jesus Christ!]
I warmly welcome the Italian-speaking pilgrims.
I am pleased to welcome the capitulars of the Sisters of Saint Catherine; the participants in the General Assembly of the Movement for a Better World; as well as those at the International Meeting of Formators of Pallottine Spirituality.
I greet the Salesian Missionaries; the parish groups, especially those of Loseto, Uggiano la Chiesa and Montecosaro; and the Saint Francis of Assisi school in Rome.
I also greet the Autonomous Federation of Small Businesses; the national independent trade union workers school; the "La Mongolfiera" Association and the "Campioni del cuore" football team.
I am particularly interested in young people, the elderly, the sick and newlyweds.
Tomorrow we celebrate the memory of the Most Holy Name of Mary. I invite everyone to look at Our Lady and let yourself be inspired by her Christian feelings, to live and imitate her Son Jesus more and more. Thank you.
FULL TEXT + Image Source: Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation from Italian