The following is the Vatican-provided text of the Holy Father’s final blessing on January 21, 2018, at the conclusion of Holy Mass at Las Palmas Air Base.
I thank Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani, Archbishop of Lima, for his kind words, you my Brother Bishops for your presence, and all those who have helped to make this visit leave me with such an indelible impression.
I am grateful to all who have made this journey possible. Above all, I thank President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, the civil authorities and the thousands of volunteers whose quiet and selfless devotion made everything run smoothly. I am grateful to the organizing committee and to all those whose dedication and efforts made my visit possible. Being with you has been very good for me. I thank you.
I began my pilgrimage among you by speaking of Peru as a land of hope. A land of hope because of its biodiversity and the beauty of its landscapes, which help us to discover the presence of God.
A land of hope because of its rich traditions and customs, which have shaped the soul of this people.
A land of hope for its young people, who are not the future but the present of Peru. I urge them to discover in the wisdom of their grandparents and their elders, the DNA that guided their great saints. Do not lose your roots! And you, grandparents and elders, keep passing on to the new generations the traditions of your people and the wisdom that charts the path to heaven. I urge all of you not to be afraid to be the saints of the XXI century.
Dear Peruvian brothers and sisters, you have so many reasons for hope. I have seen this and have “touched” it in these days. Protect your hope. There is no better way to protect your hope than to remain united, so that these reasons for hope may grow day by day in your hearts.
Hope in God does not disappoint (Rom 5:5). You are in my heart.
God bless you. And please, do not forget to pray for me.[00074-EN.01] [Original text: Spanish]
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