At 12:30 pm today, Pope Francis received in audience — in the Hall of the Consistory of the Apostolic Palace –, the organizers of the exhibition regarding the history of Jubilees entitled “Antiquorum Habet,” which took place at the Senate of the Italian Republic from March 13 to July 2, 2016.
Here is a ZENIT translation of the Pope’s address, after the greeting of the President of the Senate, The Honorable Piero Grasso.
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THE HOLY FATHER’S ADDRESS
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you for coming. I greet you warmly, beginning with Mister President of the Senate, Honorable Pietro Grasso, whom I thank for his courteous words.
This meeting offers me the occasion to express to you my gratitude for the Exhibition regarding the history of Jubilees, which took place at the Senate of the Republic last year. It documented many aspects of the Holy Years, beginning with the first, proclaimed by Pope Boniface VIII with the Bull Antiquorum Habet. From 1300 and thereafter, every Jubilee has marked Rome’s history: from the architecture to the reception of pilgrims, from art to welfare and charitable activities. However, there is an essential element, the heart of every Holy Year, which must never be lost sight of: in a Jubilee, the Goodness of God meets the frailty of man, who is always in need of the Father’s love and forgiveness. In fact, it is proper to God to exercise mercy. His omnipotence is manifested especially in this. You [he turns to President Grasso] spoke of hospitality as the core of every Jubilee, and this is the great welcome: when God receives us without asking many things, forgives us, embraces us, kisses us and says this beautiful word to us: “my son, my daughter.”
In thanking the organizers and volunteers of the Exhibition and the Senate that hosted it, for the endeavor of historical and cultural sensitization offered for the benefit of visitors, I wish that each one of you will continue to draw from the Jubilee experience abundant and lasting spiritual fruits. May the Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy, obtain this <for you>.
Thank you, Mister President, for this visit. I pray for your lofty institutional service and for the work of all of you. I bless you together with your dear ones. And you also, please pray for me.
Thank you so much.[Original text: Italian] [Translation by ZENIT]