Each life is first and foremost, and each ‘little flame’ is to be safeguarded ‘in the midst of the darkest night.’
Days after little Alfie Evans was welcomed into heaven, Pope Francis stressed this today in the Vatican to members of the Italian “A Rare Life” Association.
The association is at the end of the nine stages of the “Rare Words Run,” which began on April 21 from Monticelli Brusati, Brescia, Italy, and arrived today in Rome. The association is intended to give voice symbolically to those who are affected by Allan Herndon Dudley Syndrome (AHDS-MCT8) and those engaged in supporting scientific research and healthcare related to rare diseases.
The Holy Father began expressing his appreciation for associations dedicated to researching rare diseases and offer solidarity.
While acknowledging the reality that there is pain for the suffering and hardships, the Pope stressed, “I am always struck by – and admire – the will of families to join together to face this situation and to do something to improve it.”
The Pope praised the name of the association for being ‘positive.’ “The negative exists, we know, it is daily life. But this name shows that you know how to look to the positive: that every human life is unique, and while the disease is rare or extremely rare, it is life that is so first and foremost.”
“This positive outlook is a typical “miracle” of love. And it is love that does this: it knows how to see the good even in a negative situation, it knows how to safeguard the little flame in the midst of a dark night,” he said.
Love, the Pope said, works another miracle.
“It helps us remain open to others, capable of sharing, of being in solidarity even when one is suffering from a disease or difficult condition, that can be wearing in daily life.”
Pope Francis concluded, thanking those present, saying he would pray for them, and asking them to pray for him.