Below is a translation of Pope Francis’ address to members of the John Paul II Foundation Saturday afternoon in the Vatican:
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I welcome you, members and friends of the John Paul II Foundation. I thank Cardinal Rylko for having introduced our meeting and I thank you all for your commitment in carrying forward the initiatives of the Foundations and of guarding its spirit, and my heartfelt thanks also for the gift of this picture of the Merciful Jesus.
The canonization of Pope John Paul II gave a new impulse to your work at the service of the Church and of evangelization. It has rendered him, if possible, even more universal as universal is the devotion that the people of God now render him. And you offer a precious contribution so that the spiritual legacy of this holy Pontiff continues to fecund the great field of the Church and to support her journey in history.
I thank you, in particular, for the initiatives of an educational character that you carry out in favor of young people. In fact, Saint John Paul II always had a great love for young people and special pastoral care for them, and you contribute to make his charism and paternity continue to bear fruit.
You also offer to priests and laymen the opportunity to enrich their formation, to be more prepared to accompany the communities in addressing the cultural and pastoral challenges of our days. For this purpose you can also draw from the rich teaching of the social doctrine that John Paul II has left us, and which shows itself all the more of present importance. Suffice it to think of one of the key-words of his teaching, which is “solidarity,” a word that perhaps some thought should decline, but which in reality preserves today all its prophetic force.
Therefore it is important that you first of all live this solidarity among yourselves in your “network” of Circles of Friends of the Foundation, nourishing it continually with Christian fraternity, animated in turn by prayer and docility to the Word of God. May the Virgin Mother Mary, to whom Saint John Paul II consecrated his whole life and his pontificate, obtain this for you.
I thank you, dearest, for this visit. I bless you all and your service, and I ask you, please, to pray for me.[Original text: Italian] [Translation by ZENIT]