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Holy Father Comments on Contribution by Prisoners

Message at Wednesday’s General Audience

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Pope Francis thanked the “parish” of a prison of Padua, Italy, for the “depth” of their meditations for Good Friday at the Colosseum, which will be broadcast on Mondovision on April 10, 2020.

At 7:00 am on Wednesday, March 11, 2020, Pope Francis offered his Mass for the detainees, in the Holy Spirit Chapel of the Vatican’s Casa Santa Marta. After the Audience, he addressed them on video.

“We continue to pray for the sick of this epidemic,” said the Pontiff at the beginning of the Mass. “And today I would like to pray especially for the prisoners, for our brothers and sisters shut in prison. They suffer; we must be close to them, by prayer, so that the Lord may help them, console them, in this difficult moment.”

The day before, the Holy Father received the meditations of the Way of the Cross for Good Friday — Friday, April 10, 2020 — which this year he entrusted to the community of the “Due Palazzi” prison of Padua, in the North-East of Italy, very tested by the Coronavirus.

In a letter to the dailies of the region, the Pope said he himself entrusted them with this mission.

Father Marco Pozza, the prison’s chaplain, interviewed the Pope on the Hail Mary and the Our Father, and now he continues with the Creed for Italian Catholic Television Tv2000.

The Pope addressed the detainees of Padua, at the end of the Wednesday Audience, in the Library of the Apostolic Vatican Palace, saying: “I would also like to thank the parish of the prison of the “Due Palazzi” of Padua: thank you very much. Yesterday I received the draft of the Way of the Cross, which you did for next Good Friday. Thank you for having worked all together, the whole community of the prison. Thank you for the depth of your meditations.”

A message posted by Father Pozzo on his Facebook page thanks Pope Francis — in Italian — for his words at the end of the Audience: “Your impromptu words are always the strongest. Thank you, Pope Francis, for the thought you addressed to our parish of the Padua prison. It’s us, with all the city of Padua, that thank you for having opened the door of your house to share with us our ways of the cross. Your words, especially today, are a caress on Italian prisons burning of fatigue. You are Petrus!”

The Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin visited this prison not long ago. .And one of the detainees of the prison, sentenced to 20 years of reclusion, a Chinaman, Zhang Augustine Jianqing, who prepared himself for Baptism during his detention, was invited to present a book of Pope Francis — “The Name of God Is Mercy,” on January 12, 2016, at Rome, next to Cardinal Parolin. He explained: “God’s mercy changed my life.”

Translation by Virginia M. Forrester

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Anita Bourdin

France. Journalist accreditated to the Holy See press office since 1995. Started Zenit in french in january 1999. Classical litterature (Paris IV-Sorbonne). Master in journalism (IJRS Bruxelles). Biblical theology (PUG, Rome).

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