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Pope Returns to Rome After Concluding Lenten Spiritual Exercises in Ariccia

Pope Thanks Preacher Bernardo For His Contribution in These Days

Pope Francis has returned to Rome after having concluded his annual week of Lenten Spiritual Exercises, with the Roman Curia, in Ariccia, outside of Rome in the Castelli Romani. The following are the Vatican-provided words of thanks given by Francis this morning to the preacher of the Spiritual Exercises, Abbot Bernardo Francesco Maria Gianni, O.S.B. Oliv., of the Abbey of San Miniato al Monte, near Florence, who led the Exercises:

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I wish to thank you, brother Bernardo, for your help in these days. I have been struck by your work to allow us to enter, as did the Word, into the human; and to understand that God always makes Himself present in the human. He did so for the first time in the incarnation of the Word, total, but He is present also in the traces He leaves in the human. As in the incarnation in the Word – indivisa et inconfusa – He is there. And our work is perhaps to go forward…

I thank you very much for this work. I thank you for speaking about memory: this “deuteronomic” dimension that we forget; for speaking about hope, work, patience, how to show us the way to have that “memory of the future” that we always take forward. Thank you!

And it made me laugh when you said that some people, reading the titles of the meditations, perhaps did not understand what the Curia did: perhaps they had hired a tourist guide to show them Florence and its poets… And I too at the first meditation was a little disorientated, and then I understood the message. Thank you.

I thought a lot about a Conciliar document – Gaudium et spes – perhaps the document that has encountered most resistance, even today. And in that moment I saw you in that way: with the courage of the Council Fathers when they signed that document. I thank you very much. Pray for us, we who are all sinners, all of us, but we want to go ahead in this way, serving the Lord. Thank you very much, and greet the monks on my behalf and on our behalf. Thank you!

[Vatican-provided text]

About Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is a Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in four languages). She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, at times from the papal flight, and has done television and radio commentary, including for Vatican Radio and BBC. She is a contributor to National Catholic Register, UK Catholic Herald, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside the Vatican, and other Catholic news outlets. She has also collaborated with the Vatican in various projects, including an internship at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and is a collaborator with NBC Universal, NBC News, Euronews, and EWTN. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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