L'Osservatore Romano

Pope's Address to Sisters Hospitallers of Mercy

«Sometimes one can think: ‘Some of the sick are annoying.’ But we also annoy the Lord, and He supports and accompanies us!»

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

On Saturday, Pope Francis received in audience Sisters Hospitallers of Mercy. Here is a ZENIT translation of his address:
Dear Sisters, good morning!
I receive you with joy during the days of the Jubilee of Mercy, which finds you particularly involved because it corresponds in a direct way to your vocation. I greet Monsignor Fisichella, who is carrying this Jubilee forward. I thank Mother Paola Iacovone for the words she addressed to me; and I thank the Lord for the commitment that your Religious Family puts into the path of fidelity to the original charism, attentive to the new forms of poverty of our times. You are a concrete sign of how the Father’s mercy is expressed.
The institution of your Founder, the Servant of God Teresa Orsini Doria Pamphili Landi, shows eloquently how the Word of the Lord can change the life of one who becomes His disciple. This noble laywoman, supported by two priests, let herself be guided by Jesus’ words: “I was sick and you visited me (cf. Matthew 25:36). In face of the weakness of sickness, there cannot be distinctions of social state, race, language or culture; we all become weak and must entrust ourselves to others.
The Church feels, as her commitment and responsibility, closeness to all those who suffer, to bring them consolation, comfort and friendship. You dedicate your life especially to the service of brothers and sisters who are recovering in hospital, because, thanks to your presence and professionalism they feel, to a great extent, supported in their sickness. And to do this, there is no need for long speeches: a caress, a kiss, being at their side in silence, a smile <suffices>. Never give up this very precious service, despite all the difficulties you might encounter. In our days, sometimes a secular culture attempts to remove, even from hospitals, any religious reference, beginning with the Sisters’ presence itself. When this happens, however, it is usually accompanied by a painful lack of humanity, truly strident in places of suffering. Do not tire of being friends, sisters and mothers of the sick; may prayer be always the lymph that sustains your evangelizing mission.
When you approach each sick person, have peace and joy in your heart, which are fruits of the Holy Spirit. It is always Jesus on that hospital bed, present in the person who suffers, and it is He who asks for help from each one of you. It is Jesus. Sometimes one can think: “Some of the sick are annoying.” But we also annoy the Lord, and He supports and accompanies us! May closeness to Jesus and to the weakest be your strength. The fourth vow that characterizes you as a Religious Family is all the more timely, especially because individuals without a family, without a home, without a homeland are multiplying and in need of hospitality. By living this particular vow with coherence, you assume in yourselves the sentiments of Christ, who “though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor” (2 Corinthians 8:9). May the Holy Mother of Mercy accompany you always and sustain you in your daily service to the weakest. I bless you from my heart and ask you, please, to pray for me.
And now, if you, Mother, have the prayer for the consecration, we can do together the consecration of the Institute of the Mother of Mercy.
[Original text: Italian]  [Translation by ZENIT]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation