Pope Invites Members of Caritas to be Signs of the Love of God

Celebrates 25 Years of Foundation in Rome

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 21, 2004 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II invited all members of Caritas to be signs of the love of God towards those most in need.

The Pope wrote this in a message sent to Cardinal Camillo Ruini, vicar for the diocese of Rome, on the occasion of the 25 anniversary of the founding of Caritas in Rome, an initiative begun and promoted by Paul VI.

Caritas in Rome is one of the thousands of organizations on the diocesan level that form part of national Caritas organizations, which then form part of Caritas Internationalis, a federation present in 200 countries and territories.

In the letter the Holy Father thanked all Caritas volunteers, “especially the youth,” for their work and encouraged them to work “to be eloquent signs of the love of God and instruments of peace in every environment, stimulating before all else Christian communities to care for those most in need.”

“That each one grows in their adherence to the Gospel of Christ, source of apostolic life to valiantly confront the challenges of our time,” recommended the Holy Father.

“Today, as in the past, to the agents of Christian charity it is asked before everything else that they live in intimacy and in constant familiarity with the divine teacher so that with their service to their brothers most in need they express their ardent passion for the Church and for the salvation of the world,” said the Pope.

For this, he suggested that “it is necessary to nourish the work and testimony of charity, stopping yourself each day to spend time in prayer, listening regularly to the Word of God.”

“Above all it is important that ones existence is centered in the mystery of the Eucharist in order to imitate Jesus and to be every time more disposed, like him, to be ‘good Samaritans’ to those who live in difficult conditions or who have been abandoned,” he said.

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