Pope Francis thanks members of Fidesco, a Catholic NGO, for 40 years of service in promoting the integral development of people in poor countries.
FULL TEXT - ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
TO MANAGERS AND VOLUNTEERS OF "FIDESCO",
CATHOLIC ORGANIZATION OF INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY
Saturday, March 20, 2021
Dear brothers and sisters,
I am pleased to welcome you, leaders and volunteers of the FIDESCO organization, during your pilgrimage to Rome on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of foundation in the service of the Church and development. I thank the Director for his words of greeting and introduction.
Your passage to the tombs of the Apostles allows you to root even better the actions you carry out daily in your faith in Christ who died and rose and in the heart of the Church's mission. I hope that this spiritual renewal that you are experiencing, characterized by a penitential connotation in this time of Lent, will make you return to your brothers and sisters even more enthusiastic and joyful.
«Allowing oneself to be loved by God and […] loving him with the love that he himself communicates to us provokes a first and fundamental reaction in the life of the person and in his actions: to desire, seek and have at heart the good of others (Ap. Evangelii gaudium , 178 ). It is this "good of others" that you seek, driven by the breath of the Spirit, when you decide to leave for a few years with the FIDESCO organization to serve brothers and sisters who are more distant, less fortunate, more disadvantaged, with fewer opportunities than you. , yet equally loved by God and endowed with dignity.
The Church in these days enters the great meditation on the Passion of the Lord.
The suffering Christ is present in the poor, excluded, sick, hungry person who carries with him the mystery of the cross. You will benefit greatly from living this time of the Passion to the full in order to draw from the source of your mission. "Confessing that Jesus gave his blood for us prevents us from retaining the slightest doubt about the limitless love that ennobles every human being" ( ibid . ). Every human being is worthy. Every human being is a brother or a sister to me. When you are in the heart of your mission, with your personal relationship with the Lord and with your life of faith, I invite you to keep intact the wonder, the fascination, the enthusiasm of living the Gospel of fraternity ( cf.ibid. , 179). We need it in the most difficult moments of loneliness, discouragement, disappointment ...
I would like to thank FIDESCO, his leaders, his volunteers, and thank the Lord for the work done in these forty years of missionary service, as well as for the witness given to Christ, who came to save the whole man and all men. Your action of solidarity is in fact oriented to the integral development of people, to the care not only of their material needs but also of their social integration, their intellectual, cultural and spiritual growth, giving each one their own dignity. I encourage you to persevere on this path, remaining rooted in the social doctrine of the Church. It is more important than ever today that the faithful of Christ be witnesses of tenderness and compassion. Listen to the cry of the poor that resound within oneself, ibid. , 180 ).
Finally, I would like to underline the personal growth that a commitment, even a temporary one, can bring to your association, at the human level as well as at the level of faith.
Those who commit themselves to your missions find not only the opportunity to open up to the world and cultures, but also the means to respond to the mercy that God has used them: "Be merciful, as your Father is merciful" ( Lk 6 , 36).
Also find a spiritual path in response to God's free gift.
Once again, the opportunity you offer, especially to the younger ones, to grow in faith and humanity deserves gratitude.
I wish you a good pilgrimage and I entrust you, like all the members of FINESCO, to the protection of the Virgin Mary. I bless you from my heart, and I ask you to please pray for me. Thank you!