In the course of the meeting, the Pope said the following words of greeting to those present, which we translate below.
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I am happy and joyful to receive you, together with your families, for this exchange of greetings. We are at the beginning of a new year and we are still living the liturgical season of Christmas, which will close next Sunday with the celebration of the Baptism of the Lord. The mystery of Jesus’ birth calls us to witness in our life the humility, simplicity and spirit of service which He taught us. In your daily work you also have the possibility to imitate these characteristics of the Son of God, who “came not to be served but to serve” (Matthew 20:28). Lived with this interior attitude, work can become an apostolate, a precious occasion to transmit to, all those you meet, the joy of being Christians. This is possible if we keep alive our dialogue with the Lord in prayer, to grow in his friendship and to learn from Him our willingness to be hospitable.
In these months I realized what the ideals are that animate your work. The love of the Church and of the Holy See, hospitable cordiality, patience, calm and serenity of behavior are a good ticket of visit for all those who come to the Apostolic Palace to meet the Pope. I thank you cordially for all this – truly, I thank you cordially! And I feel indebted to you. I thank you also for the tenderness with which carry children to bring them to me in the public audiences. I asked one of you: “But you, how many children do you have? Because you know how to carry them, it’s obvious!”
I renew to you my wishes for peace and every good; I assure you of my prayer, and I count also on yours! Thank you.[Translation by ZENIT]