Pope Praises Commitment of Italy's Pro-Life Movement

Expresses Joy over Beatifications in Portugal and Brazil

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 22, 2011 (Zenit.org).- In his greetings to faithful present this Sunday morning in St. Peter’s Square for the recitation of the midday Marian prayer of the Regina Caeli, Benedict XVI greeted the «large group» of members of Italy’s Pro-Life Movement.

«Dear friends, I congratulate you in particular for your commitment in helping women who face difficult pregnancies, engaged couples and spouses who desire responsible procreation, thus you work concretely for the culture of life,» he said.

«I pray to the Lord that, thanks also to your contribution, the ‘yes to life’ will be a motive of unity in Italy and in every country of the world,» he added.

The Pontiff then blessed «the children accompanied by UNITALSI, who overcoming the hardships illness make themselves witnesses of peace,» he encouraged «the sick and volunteers present on the occasion of the National Weeks of Multiple Sclerosis» and greeted «the members of the Teresian Institution, on the centenary of the Association.»

Trail of charity

Benedict XVI then united himself «to the joy of the Church in Portugal for the beatification of Mother Maria Chiara of the Child Jesus,» which took place on Saturday in Lisbon, and to that of the church in Brazil, where this Sunday, in Salvador da Bahia, Sister Dulce Lopes Pontes was proclaimed blessed.

«Two consecrated women, in Institutes both of which are placed under the protection of Mary Immaculate. May the Lord and his Holy Mother be praised!» he exclaimed.

In his greeting to Portuguese-speaking pilgrims, the Pope observed that Sister Dulce «left behind her a prodigious trail of charity at the service of the last, leading the whole of Brazil to see in her ‘the mother of the disinherited.'»

«Mother Chiara,» he said, «founded the Franciscan Hospitallers of the Immaculate Conception, whom she taught to ‘illumine and warm’ the multitude of poor and forgotten by society, seeing and receiving in them the true God.»

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