Present at today’s General Audience were faithful of the Marche dioceses of Ascoli-Piceno, stricken by the earthquake of last July 24, accompanied by Bishop Giovanni D’Ercole. The Pope turned to them when greeting the Italian-speaking pilgrims, saying: “I am happy to receive the faithful of the Dioceses of Ascoli-Piceno; you have also suffered!”
“Dear brothers and sisters, may your pilgrimage for the Holy Year express the significance of communion with the universal Church and render you witnesses of mercy in your local churches,” added the Holy Father.
The Pontiff also greeted the delegation of the diocese of Rome that prepared the Week of the Family, which will be held from October 2-8. “Shortly, I will light for them a torch, symbol of the love of the families of Rome and of the whole world.”
A special thought went to the Archbishop of Potenza and to a group of laid off workers of Basilicata. The Pontiff hoped “that the grave circumstance of unemployment can find a positive solution through an incisive commitment on the part of all to open ways of hope. The percentage of unemployment cannot go up!” he added off-the-cuff.
A greeting went also to the participants in the General Chapter of the Tertiary Capuchin Sisters of the Holy Family; the Elderly Association with the cyclists of the Generals Group; the participants in the “Italian Wonder Ways” initiative with the Bishop Paolo Giulietti; and the faithful of Pieve di Soligo, who came to Rome to observe today’s anniversary of John Paul I’s death.
Finally, turning to young people, the sick and newlyweds, Pope Francis said: “May the example of charity of Saint Vincent of Paul, whom we remembered yesterday as Patron of charitable associations, lead you, dear young people, to realize the plans for your future with joyful and selfless service to your neighbor. May it help you, dear sick, to face suffering with your gaze turned to Christ. And may it solicit you, dear newlyweds, to build a family always open to the poor and to the gift of life.”