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Dear brothers and sisters, hello!
Today our Sunday gathering for the Angelus is here at Castel Gandolfo. I greet the inhabitants of this beautiful little town! I would like to thank you above all for your prayers, and I thank all of you many pilgrims who have come here for you prayers too.
Today’s Gospel, from chapter 10 of Luke, is the famous parable of the good Samaritan. Who was this man? He was anyone, coming down from Jerusalem to Jericho on the road through the Judean desert. On that road a man has just been assailed by brigands, robbed, beaten and left half-dead. Before the Samaritan there pass by a priest and a Levite, two people who are in charge of worship in the Lord’s Temple. They see that poor man but keep going and do not stop. The Samaritan, when he saw the man, instead “had compassion for him” (Luke 10:33) the Gospel says. He came to him, treated his wounds, pouring oil and wine upon them; then he put him on his animal, took him to a hotel and paid for his room… In short, he took care of him: it is the example of love of neighbor. But why does Jesus choose a Samaritan as the protagonist of the parable? Because the Samaritans were despised by the Jews on account of different religious traditions; and yet Jesus shows that the heart of that Samaritan is good and generous and that – unlike the priest and the Levite – he puts into practice the will of God, who desires mercy more than sacrifices (cf. Mark 12:33). God always wants mercy for everyone and not condemnation. He wants the mercy of the heart because he is merciful and well understands our suffering, our difficulties and even our sins. He gives to all of us this merciful heart! The Samaritan does just this: he simply imitates the mercy of God, mercy toward those in need.
A man who fully lived this Gospel of the good Samaritan is the saint whom we remember today: St. Camillus de Lellis, founder of the Ministers to the Sick, patron of the sick and healthcare workers. St. Camillus died on July 14, 1614: precisely today begins the 4th century since his death, which will culminate in one year. I greet with affection all the sons and spiritual daughters of St. Camillus, who live his charism of charity and daily contact with the sick. You are like good Samaritans! I pray that doctors, the infirm and those who work in hospitals and care centers will be animated by the same spirit. Let us entrust this intention to Mary Most Holy.
And there is another intention that I would like to entrust to Our Lady together with all of you. World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro is coming up soon. There are many young people here according to age, but all of you are young at heart! I will leave in 8 days, but many young people will leave for Brazil earlier. Let us pray then for this great pilgrimage that is beginning, that Our Lady of Aparecida, patroness of Brazil, guide the steps of the participants and open their hearts to welcome the message Christ will give them.[Following the recitation of the Angelus, the Holy Father said the following to those who were present:]
Dear brothers and sisters,
I join in prayer with the prelates and faithful of the Church in Ukraine, gathered in the cathedral of Lutsk for the Holy Mass of suffrage on the occasion of the 70 anniversary of the massacres at Volhynia. Such actions, provoked by nationalist ideology in the tragic context of World War 2, caused tens of thousands of victims and wounded the fraternity of the 2 peoples, the Polish and the Ukrainian. I entrust to the mercy of God the souls of the victims and, for their people, I ask the grace of profound reconciliation and of a peaceful future in hope and in sincere collaboration for the common upbuilding of the Kingdom of God.
I think also of the pastors and the faithful who are participating in the pilgrimage of the family of Radio Maria to Jasna Góra, Częstochowa, Poland. I entrust you to the protection of the Mother of God and I bless you from my heart.
I greet with affection the faithful of the Diocese of Albano! I invoke the protection of their patron St. Bonaventure, whose feast the Church will celebrate tomorrow. May it be a beautiful feast and many best wishes! I greet all of the pilgrims who are present here: the parish groups, the families, the young people, especially those from Ireland; the group of young deaf people, who are holding an international meeting in Rome.
I greet the Sisters of St. Elizabeth, whom I wish a fruitful spiritual renewal; the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, with families of different nations; the Daughters of Divine Charity, holding their general chapter; the superiors of the Daughters of Mary the Helper. I wish everyone a good Sunday and a good lunch![ Translation by Joseph Trabbic]