Pope's Address to Rome-St. Peter's Police Force

«So many times you must smile, have a smile in moments that are difficult, to facilitate service to so many people»

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Pope Francis today received in audience members of the Police Force of the Rome-Saint Peter’s Company.
Here is a translation of the Pope’s address.
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Dear Members of the Police Force,
I give you each a cordial welcome, and I thank the Commander General of Arms for his words.
I am happy to meet with you to express my gratitude to you. You render the community a demanding and indispensable service, spending your energies to safeguard security and public order, in collaboration with the other Forces. Also thanks to you, people are helped to respect the laws that regulate serene and harmonious coexistence. Your presence in the territory becomes means of the concrete solidarity of the whole community, in particular, enabling disadvantaged persons to find valuable help in their difficulties. And, very often, this is not seen. I refer to the Commander’s words: “those hidden acts that no one sees in the daily service …” This is so beautiful; God alone sees it. God does not forget these things.
Your “Company of the Police Force of Rome-Saint Peter’s” collaborates effectively with the competent organisms of the Holy See, to foster the peaceful development of events that, in the course of the year, are held in Saint Peter’s Square and in the surroundings. I thank you very much for your work, which is at the service of pilgrims and tourists. It is an activity that calls for professionalism and a sense of responsibility, as well as attention to persons — many of whom are elderly — and continual patience and availability to all. They are not easy qualities, so that it is important to be able to count on God’s help. So many times you must smile, have a smile in moments that are difficult, to facilitate service to so many people, no?
The Holy Year of Mercy opens before all the possibility to be renewed, beginning with an interior purification, which is reflected in the way of behaving and also in the exercise of daily activities. This spiritual dimension of the Jubilee event drives each one of us to reflect on our real commitment in responding to the exigencies of fidelity to the Gospel, to which the Lord calls us, beginning from our state of life. Thus the Jubilee becomes a propitious occasion of personal and communal verification; and the “paradigm” on which to be verified are the works of mercy, be they corporal or spiritual. The Lord reminds us: “as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me” (Matthew 25:40).
May this teaching of Jesus also be a guide for you, who are responsible for safeguarding the public order, and help you to be in every circumstance promoters of solidarity, especially towards the weakest and defenseless; to be custodians of the right to life, through the commitment for the security and safety of persons. In the development of this mission may you always keep present that every person is loved by God, is His creature and merits hospitality and respect. May the grace of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy renew the spirit with which you dedicate yourselves to your profession, inducing you to live it with a supplement of care, dedication and generosity.
I express to all of you again my gratitude for your cherished service and your collaboration with the Holy See. I invoke upon each one of you and upon your daily work divine assistance, and I entrust you to the maternal protection of Our Lady, Virgo fidelis. I bless you from my heart, together with your families. And I ask you, please, to pray for me. Thank you.
[Original text: Italian]
[Translation by ZENIT]

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