At the end of the Holy Mass, before returning to the Vatican, Pope Francis met in the gymnasium of the “Famiglia dell’Istituto” penitentiary with, among others, the Minister of Justice, the Honorable Paola Severino; the Head of the Department of Juvenile Justice, Catherine Chinnici; the Commander of the Penitentiary Police of Casal del Marmo, Saul Patrizi; and Director of Casal del Marmo, Liana Giambartolomei. The youth of the penitentiary gave the a Pope a wooden cross and a kneeler, also made of wood, which was made by them at the workshop of the Institute.
During the meeting, responding first to the greeting by the Hon. Severino and then responding to a question by one of the young prisoners, the Holy Father said the following words:
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I thank the Minister for words, I thank the authorities for their welcome and thank you boys and girls, for your welcome today I am happy to be with you. Go forward, alright? And do not let yourselves be robbed of hope, do not let yourselves be robbed of hope! Understood? Always with hope,
Go forward! Thank you.
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Question from young man:
Thank you for coming today Father. But I would like to know one thing: why did you come today to Casal del Marmo?
It is a feeling that came from the heart, that is what I heard. Where there are those that maybe will help me more to be humble, to be a servant as a bishop should be. And I thought, I asked: “Where are those who would like a visit?” And they said, “Casal del Marmo, maybe.” And when they told me, I came here. But it only came from the heart. The matters of the heart do not have an explanation, they just come. Thank you!
Now I leave. Thank you so much for your welcome. Pray for me and do not let yourselves be robbed of hope. Always go forward! Thank you so much![Translation by Junno Arocho Esteves]