Pope Francis says "The loving gaze of the Mother contemplating the Child who sleeps, trusting, in her lap, is an invitation for us to learn to see, through her eyes, Jesus ..."
MESSAGE OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
TO THE DOMINICAN PEOPLE ON THE OCCASION OF THE ALTAGRACIANO JUBILEE YEAR
I greet with affection the brothers and sisters of the beloved Dominican Republic, who are preparing to celebrate, with love and gratitude, the centenary of the canonical coronation of Our Lady of Altagracia, Mother and Protector of your people. This Marian devotion so deeply felt by you is a sign of the Christian roots that characterize and give life to your land. That is why I exhort you not to lose heart in your testimony of faith, to care for and strengthen, with the example and intercession of the Virgin Mary, her love for Jesus and for the Church. In this very important circumstance for the Dominican Nation, I have wanted to send on my behalf Msgr. Edgar Peña Parra, Substitute for the Secretary of State, whom I have also asked to place at the feet of our Mother of Altagracia the filial homage of the Pope, symbolized in the golden rose.
God gives us in the Virgin a sign of her closeness and of the infinite tenderness with which He cares for us. The loving gaze of the Mother contemplating the Child who sleeps, trusting, in her lap, is an invitation for us to learn to see, through her eyes, Jesus present in our neighbors, and to remember that we are part of the same human family. call to fraternal coexistence and solidarity. The Virgin of Altagracia has been a source of unity for the Dominican people in difficult times, a sure hand that supports them in the setbacks that arise in their daily walk. With her protection and shelter, she encourages us to care for and keep burning the flame of hope that our elders in faith bequeathed to us, and to transmit it to others with humility, trusting in the grace of the Lord.
Dear Dominican brothers and sisters, do not be afraid to walk together, beyond divisions and mistrust, united in brotherhood, in the direction that Jesus indicates in the Gospel. Do not hesitate to seek the will of God with simplicity, because He is a Father of tenderness who embraces everyone and never abandons us. Trust that his divine light transforms hearts and leads them to an encounter with him and with their brothers and sisters; and have faith that the power of the Holy Spirit drives you to carry out works of love and goodness with joy and perseverance in favor of those who need it most.
May Jesus bless you and Our Lady of Altagracia protect and accompany you. And please don't forget to pray for me.
Rome, Saint John Lateran, July 15, 2022