Pope Francis says Open Yourselves to God "...who inspires us through the Spirit to announce the Gospel with new commitment and to contemplate the beauty of creation."
Dear brothers and sisters,
With a heart filled with joy and hope, I address all participants in the Fourth Meeting of the Catholic Church in Amazônia Legal, for it is a source of particular encouragement for me to know that we dream together of “Christian communities capable of generous commitment, incarnate in the Amazon region, and giving the Church new faces with Amazonian features” (Querida Amazonia, no. 7). At the same time, knowing that this meeting recalls the one held fifty years ago in the same place, on the occasion of the intense thanksgiving to the Almighty for the fruits of the action of the Divine Holy Spirit in the Church in Amazonia - during these last five decades - and for what this inspires.
That “Santarém Meeting” proposed approaches to evangelization that marked the missionary action of the Amazonian communities and contributed to the formation of a solid ecclesial consciousness. The insights of that meeting also served to illuminate the reflections of the synod fathers, in the recent Synod for the Pan-Amazonian region, as I recalled in the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation Querida Amazonia, in describing it as one of the “privileged expressions” of the Church's journey with the peoples of Amazonia (cf. QA, no. 61). In fact, the well-known priority themes, the fruit of the mentioned meeting, outline the dreams for Amazonia that were reaffirmed in the last synod (cf. QA, no. 7).
I also rejoice in the commitment of the particular Churches of the Brazilian Amazon, through their communities, in carrying forward the indications of the last synodal assembly, at the same time bearing witness, through the already deep-rooted and beautiful tradition of the meetings of the local Churches, the experience of synodality – as an expression of communion, participation and mission, to which the whole Church is called. I remember with affection and gratitude the intense participation of those who came from Brazil to Rome for the 2019 Synod sessions, bringing vitality, strength and hope.
Be courageous and bold, opening yourselves with confidence in the action of God who created everything, who gave us himself in Jesus Christ (cf. QA no. 41), and who inspires us through the Spirit to announce the Gospel with new commitment and to contemplate the beauty of creation, even more exuberant in these Amazonian lands, where the shining presence of the Risen One is experienced (cf. QA no. 57).
In placing these vows at the feet of Nossa Senhora de Nazaré, Queen of Amazonia, who never abandons us in dark times (cf. QA no. 111) – I send you, dear brothers and sisters, my heartfelt apostolic blessing, asking you also, please, to continue to pray for me and for the mission the Lord has entrusted to me.
Rome, Saint John Lateran, 31 May 2022