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Before concluding this celebration, I would like to greet all the pilgrims, families, parish groups, associations and movements, who have come from so many countries. I greet the participants in the national conference on mercy. I greet the Ukrainian community, which observes the 80th anniversary of the Holodomor, the “great famine” provoked by the Soviet regime that caused millions of deaths.
On this day our grateful thoughts turn to the missionaries, who, over the course of the centuries, have proclaimed the Gospel and sowed the seeds of faith in many parts of the world. Among these is Bl. Junípero Serra, a Spanish Franciscan missionary. Today is the 300th anniversary of his birth.
I do not want to end without recognizing all those who worked to promote this Year of Faith, [in particular] Archbishop Rino Fisichella, who guided this journey. I thank him very much, from my heart, him and all his collaborators. Many thanks!
Now let us pray the Angelus together. With this prayer we invoke the protection of Mary especially for our brothers and sisters who are persecuted because of their faith, and there are many!
[Following the recitation of the Angelus, the Holy Father said:]
I thank you for your presence at this concelebration. I wish you a good Sunday and a good lunch.
[Translation by Joseph Trabbic]