Pope Francis sends a video message to the pilgrims of the Fratello association who have gathered in Lourdes to celebrate the third World Day of the Poor (November 17). He addresses those who are "alone, isolated, abandoned, homeless, expelled from your family or from your country, victim of alcohol, prostitution, illness": "God hears your prayer in a special way". Live the sacraments and be "witness of God's love in your environment".
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - " You who are small, you are poor, you are fragile, you are the treasure of the Church. You are in the heart of the Pope, in the heart of Mary, in the heart of God. Every time your life has been trampled on, mistreated, offended, it is Jesus Who has been trampled on, mistreated, offended". Pope Francis addressed this message full of affection in a video to the pilgrims of the Fratello association, who gathered in Lourdes from November 14th to 17th to celebrate the third World Day of the Poor, wanted by the pontiff at the conclusion of the Jubilee of Mercy (2016 ), just after meeting the members of the association.
The Fratello association is a group of French lay people engaged in welcoming and helping "people in situations of precariousness or exclusion". In addition to directly treating more than 1,400 poor people, people living on the streets, etc., Brother offers his services to "dioceses, parishes, associations and congregations in the daily reception of the poor of their neighborhood".
In the message, Francis says, " I need you all, each one of you. You, who are at the foot of the cross, perhaps alone, isolated, abandoned, homeless, expelled from your family or from your country, victims of alcohol, prostitution, sickness. Be aware that God loves you. God listens to your prayer in particular.
The world suffers and your prayer moves the Lord. You who are small, you are poor, you are fragile, you are the treasure of the Church. You are in the heart of the Pope, in the heart of Mary, in the heart of God. Every time your life has been trampled on, mistreated, offended, it is Jesus Who has been trampled on, mistreated, offended.
Today, the Pope wants to console you, to surround you (give you) consolation and to tell you that he loves you and invites you to go to the source ".
Francis suggests two tracks. The first is prayer: " And to do this, receive Mary within you, hold on to her. She is the door of the Church which is wide open. She welcomed the Holy Spirit completely. She gives us Jesus and leads us to Him.
Pray, implore God, ask Him to come into our lives: “Lord, come and love me so that I may love as you do”. Ask God to spread His sweet compassion over the world.”
The second is to live the sacraments: "Do you want to be Christians? Ask for baptism. I invite you to discover in a special way confession, the sacrament of forgiveness in which God shows us His tenderness and liberates us. Live the Eucharist to welcome God Himself into your body and soul. He gives you faith and joy.
Live also the sacrament of the anointing of the sick, so precious for those of you who are wounded in your body or mind. Live charity yourselves: there is no one so poor as to have nothing to give. Let us ask the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Love, to inspire in us acts of charity, of benevolence towards those around us. Love saves the world and God wishes to pass through us to save the world.".
A final suggestion is to live the mission: "Love saves the world and God wants to pass through us to save the world. finally, when you come back, don't leave as you came. Come back with hope, be witness to God's love in your environment. Tell the world what your treasure is: "Jesus".