Pope’s Telephone Message to Macerata-Loreto Pilgrims

‘I bless you! Always walk in life; never, never stop; always be on the way. Life is this!’

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Here is a ZENIT translation of Pope Francis’ telephone message yesterday to the participants in the 38th Macerata-Loreto Pilgrimage on foot, after the opening Eucharistic Celebration, presided over by Cardinal Edoardo Menichelli, Archbishop of Ancona-Osimo, in the Helvetia Recina Stadium of Macerata.
The near-17.5 mile (28 kilometer) pilgrimage is made on foot and at night, concluding at the Shrine of Loreto where the Holy House is.
The Holy House is traditionally held to be the home of the Holy Family. Tradition says that in 1294, the Holy House of Nazareth, where the Virgin Mary was born and where the Annunciation took place, was transported by angels to the town of Loreto.
Loreto has thus been a pilgrimage site since the early 14th century.
* * *
Good evening, dear friends,
The bishop tells me that it’s raining there, but the rain is also a grace, because it’s bad, but also good! It has two aspects. It’s bad because it’s an annoyance, but it’s good because it’s like the figure of God’s grace that comes upon us. You are now beginning your walk. None of us knows how long our life will last, but it is a journey.
And when one believes he can live his life without walking … One cannot live one’s life standing still. Life is for walking, for doing something, for going forward, for building a social friendship, a just society, for proclaiming Jesus’ Gospel.
I am close to you this evening; I am close to you in my prayer; I accompany you and I wish you a night of prayer and joy. There certainly will also be a bit of suffering, but this is surmounted with the hope of the encounter, tomorrow, with the Eucharistic Jesus.
I bless you! Always walk in life; never, never stop; always be on the way. Life is this!
And pray also for me, that I may not stop and continue to go on the way, the way that the Lord will point out to me.
I give you my blessing, dear friends, and I hope you will have a night of walking, of prayer, of joy, of fraternity and with your look towards Our Lady and towards the Eucharist, which you will receive tomorrow.
Now we pray all together to Our Lady: Ave Maria … 
I give you my blessing. May God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit bless you. And please, don’t forget to pray for me. I embrace you all.
An embrace and pray for me. Good night.
[Original Text: Italian] [Translation by ZENIT]  

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