Pope Francis says "The tragedies we are experiencing at the moment, particularly the war in the territory of Ukraine so close to us, remind us of the urgency of a civilization of love."



Sala Clementina - Saturday, April 23, 2022

Dear friends ,

I welcome you on the occasion of the Symposium that you have organized on the figure of Cardinal Suenens. I thank Father Testaert for his kind words. I greet each one of you with affection and, through you, I express my spiritual closeness to all the members of your Association.

With you I thank the Lord for the work of Cardinal Suenens and Veronica O'Brien, a work that continues today in your apostolate. In fidelity to the evangelical insights of your founders, you are committed to sharing the Gospel with every person that Providence puts on your path. Today the question of evangelization is at the heart of the Church's mission. Today it is more explicit. Those two phrases of Pope Paul VI : the vocation of the Church is to evangelize; the joy of the Church is to evangelize (cf. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi , 14 ; 80). All time! More than ever we are all called upon to be protagonists of an outgoing Church, under the impulse of the Holy Spirit. Indeed, "an evangelization with spirit is an evangelization with the Holy Spirit, since he is the soul of the evangelizing Church" (Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium , 261).

The world is becoming more and more secularized. This is moving forward in an accelerated way and we need disciples convinced in their profession of faith and capable of transmitting the flame of hope to the men and women of this time. The tragedies we are experiencing at the moment, particularly the war in the territory of Ukraine so close to us, remind us of the urgency of a civilization of love. In the eyes of our brothers and sisters, victims of the horrors of war, we read the profound and pressing need for a life marked by dignity, peace and love.

Like the Virgin Mary, we must continually cultivate the missionary spirit to make ourselves close to those who suffer, opening our hearts to them. We must walk with them, fight with them for their human dignity and spread the perfume of God's love everywhere. «With the Holy Spirit, Mary is always among the people. She gathered the disciples to invoke him ( Acts  1:14), and thus she made possible the missionary explosion that took place at Pentecost. She is the Mother of the evangelizing Church and without her we cannot fully understand the spirit of the new evangelization "( Evangelii gaudium , 284).

Our common home is shaken by multiple crises. We must not be afraid of crises; crises purify us, make us come out better. Fearless! For this we need to build a humanity, a society of fraternal and full of life relationships. In reality, “actions derive from a union that increasingly inclines towards the other, considering him as precious, worthy, appreciated, beautiful, beyond physical and moral appearances. Love for the other for what he is pushes us to seek the best for his life. Only by cultivating this way of relating will we make possible social friendship that excludes no one and fraternity open to all "(Enc. Fratelli tutti , 94). I therefore invite you to be witnesses, witnesses of God's mercy, tenderness and goodness.

Dear friends, the Church trusts you. I urge you to give, with words, actions and witness, a strong message to our world, so poor in humanity. May you draw from prayer and mission itself from the source of goodness and truth, and find in communion with the dead and risen Christ the strength to see the world with a positive gaze, a gaze of love, a gaze of hope. , a look of compassion and tenderness, with special attention for disadvantaged and marginalized people.

I entrust to the Lord each of you who participate in the Symposium and all the members of the Fiat Association. I cordially bless you and your families. And please don't forget to pray for me. Thanks!


 After the blessing (off-the-cuff words):

I beg your pardon because I will greet you sitting down, because this knee pain does not allow me to stand up for so long. Excusez-moi.  

Source: Vatican.va