Pope Francis invites French altar servers to a gathering, organized by the Church of France in Rome, from August 24-28, 2020. “One isn’t a Christian all alone: one is stronger altogether, one has more courage, one goes farther,” he affirms in a video in French published by the Holy See on November 12, 2019.
Pope Francis’ Message
I’m happy to address you, who ensure the service of the altar in your parish, to invite you to take part next summer in the great pilgrimage of altar servers, organized by the Church of France in Rome. The Lord Jesus has called you to serve in the liturgy of the Mass. It’s a unique occasion for you to meet Him, to love Him more, to be engaged for Him. But you have noted, the Mass ends with the priest’s words: “Go!” After having served Jesus at Mass, we are all called to serve Him in our life every day, in our encounter with brothers and sisters: we are sent on mission. Don’t forget, we are sent on mission.
On taking part in this pilgrimage at Rome, you will go to the tombs of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, who were also sent on mission by Jesus, and who gave their life here for Him. Their courageous witness will be an encouragement for you to persevere in your engagement and in your Christian life, despite the contradictions and the criticisms, which you will meet perhaps around you, despite the questions you ask yourself, despite the efforts that that demands of you.
We will have the joy of meeting one another, all together. And you will also meet other youths that you still don’t know, but who accomplish the same service <and> share the same faith. Invite also those that would like to be engaged as you are! One isn’t a Christina all alone: one is stronger altogether, one has more courage, one goes farther.
So I wait for you in Rome, from August 24-28 of next year. Henceforth, I’ll pray for you and for all those around you and I ask you, not to forget to pray for me. I need it; this work isn’t easy! May the Virgin Mary protect you and God bless you!
Translation by Virginia M. Forrester