Pope Francis sent a video message to all Peruvians on August 5, in advance of his January 2018 visit. The message was posted by Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani, Archbishop of Lima and Primate of Peru, on the archdiocesan website.
The Vatican announced June 17 that the Pope will visit Chile from January 15-18, 2018, visiting the cities of Santiago, Temuco and Iquique, and Peru from January 18-21, visiting the cities of Lima, Puerto Maldonado and Trujillo.
In his video message the Holy Father said he very much wants to go to Peru and that the country is a reserve of the greatest Saints of Latin America. (St. Turibius, Feast Day March 23; St. Rose of Lima, Feast Day August 23; St. Martin de Porres, Feast Day November 3; St. John Massias, Feast Day September 18; St. Francis Solano, O.F.M., Feast Day July 14)
“Dear Peruvian brothers and sisters, I will visit you soon, you are a people of great reserve. And the loveliest reserve that a people can have is the reserve of the Saints; you have so many Saints and great Saints that marked Latin America.”
The Pontiff also asked Peruvians to work for Unity following the example of the Peruvian Saints.
“The Saints carried out the construction of the Church, namely, from dispersion to unity. A saint always works in that line — of what is dispersed to unity, which is what Jesus did. A Christian has to follow that way and why should a Peruvian not work for unity with so many Peruvian Saints? One who works for unity looks ahead, and he can look ahead with scepticism, with bitterness but a Christian cannot do so. A Christian looks ahead with hope because he hopes to obtain what the Lord promised him.
“We will see one another soon, but, meanwhile: Unity and Hope. Work on this. I pray for you, and you do so for me.”
In July, the director of the Organizing Commission of the Archbishopric of Lima, Father Luis Gaspar Uribe, announced that more than 20,000 young volunteers will be part of the so-called “Pope’s Guard,” offering logistical support during the Pontiff’s visit to the country.
The “Guard” is made up of youths of good will of all social classes. They will assist people taking part in the meetings with the Holy Father in Lima, Trujillo and Puerto Maldonado.
“The Holy Father is not coming as a star, he is not coming to give a show, to engage in theater or take part in a circus,” but “he is coming as a Father who visits his children,” said Father Gaspar.