This morning, at the altar of the Cathedra of St. Peter’s Basilica, Mass was celebrated for pilgrims from the Netherlands, in Rome on the occasion of the Jubilee of Mercy. At the end of the Eucharistic celebration, the Holy Father greeted the pilgrims in the basilica. Here is a ZENIT translation of his words.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I am very happy to greet you here, in the Saint Peter’s Basilica, on the occasion of the “Dutch Day” of the Jubilee of Mercy. It is good that you have come together, Pastors and faithful of all the Netherland Dioceses, in a common pilgrimage to Rome. In this way you manifest the life and communion of the Church in the Low Countries and the unity with the Successor of Peter.
The Holy Year makes us enter even more in relation with Jesus Christ, face of the Father’s mercy. We can never exhaust this great mystery of God’s love! It is the source of our salvation: the whole world, all of us are in need of God’s mercy. It saves us, it gives us life, it recreates us as true sons and daughters of God. And we experience God’s saving goodness in a particular way in the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. Confession is the place in which we receive the gift of God’s forgiveness and mercy, which has initiated the transformation of each one of us and the reform of the life of the Church.
Therefore, I encourage you to open your hearts and to let yourselves be molded by God’s mercy. Thus you will become in turn instruments of mercy. Embraced by the merciful Father, who always offers us His forgiveness, you will be able to witness His love in every day life. The men and women of today thirst for God, they thirst for His goodness and His love. And you also, as “channels” of mercy, can help to placate this thirst; you can help so many people to rediscover Christ, Savior and Redeemer of humanity. As missionary disciples of Jesus you can “irrigate” society with the proclamation of the Gospel and with charity, especially towards the poorest and persons abandoned to themselves.
I entrust you and the whole Church of the Low Countries to the maternal protection of Mary Most Holy, Mother of Mercy, and I bless you from my heart. Please, pray for me too.[Original text: Italian] [Translation by ZENIT]