ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE "PRO PETRI SEDE" ASSOCIATION
Hall of the Consistory
Monday, February 24, 2020
Dear brothers and sisters,
I am happy to welcome you and meet you as members of the Pro Petri Sede Association during your pilgrimage to Rome. Like St. Peter, you have been guided on your way by love for Christ. And by gathering at his grave, which shed blood for his Master and Savior, you perform an act of faith that allows you to renew yourselves spiritually.
This pilgrimage also offers you the opportunity to make your financial and spiritual contribution to the social and charitable works related to my pastoral mission and the activities of the Holy See. Following in the footsteps of your predecessors, participate in the missionary action of the Church which strives for the integral human development of each person. In fact, the human person must always be defended and protected in his integrity and dignity whatever his origin or social status.
In the unbridled race for having, career, honors or power, the weak and the little ones are sometimes ignored and rejected. Indeed, «in the desire to run, to conquer everything and immediately, those who are left behind bother. And it is judged to be a waste: how many elderly people, how many unborn children, how many disabled people, poor people considered useless! » (Homily at the World Poor's Day Mass, 17 November 2019). For this reason, the Church, supporting the preferential choice for the poor, relies on men and women of good will and imbued with the Gospel to bring peace and joy to the Risen One to every needy person. Through your charitable contribution to the life of the Church, you become the salt and the light (cf Mt 5: 13-14) which give so many people the taste of life.
Dear friends, I express my gratitude to you for your constant support for my responsibility as successor of Saint Peter. Today we are faced with various challenges that concern the human family and its common home. At the center of our concerns, we bring the cry of anguish of the people who suffer, in particular, from wars, the displacement of people, poverty and degradation of the ecosystem. There is an urgent need to end the exploitation of the poorest! It is urgent that the atrocities in countries prey to the wars and conflicts that push many people on the road to exile must cease!
I would like to insist on the care of our common home, once again launching the appeal for an ecological conversion. Your testimony of Christian life, which is manifested through generosity and attention to others, invites us all today to fight against the generalized climate of individualism, selfishness and indifference, which threaten both peace between men and the environment.
I invite you to remain firm in your convictions and faith, to be a flame that brings hope to the hearts of men and women today. Like St. Peter, take off with courage and share the great love that Christ has revealed to us.
I entrust each of you and your families, and all the members of your association to the intercession of the Virgin Mary, to Saint Peter and to the Saints of your countries. I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing to you. And please, don't forget to pray for me. Thank you!
Full Text + Image Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation