Here is a ZENIT translation of the address Pope Francis gave today before praying the midday Regina Coeli in St. Peter’s Square. He spoke these words at the end of the audience with the “Azione Cattolica Italiana” on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of its foundation.
* * *
Before the Regina Coeli
Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
Tragic news does not cease to arrive about the situation in Venezuela and the worsening of the clashes, with numerous dead, wounded and arrested. While I unite myself to the grief of the families of the victims, for whom I assure prayers of suffrage, I address a heartfelt appeal to the Government and to all the components of the Venezuelan society to avoid all further forms of violence; may human rights be respected and may negotiated solutions be sought to the grave humanitarian, social, political and economic crisis that is distressing the population. We entrust to the Most Holy Virgin Mary the intention of peace, of reconciliation and of democracy in that dear country. And we pray for all countries that are going through grave difficulties, I am thinking in particular these days of the Republic of Macedonia.
Proclaimed Blessed yesterday at Verona was Leopoldina Naudet, Founder of the Sisters of the Holy Family. Brought up in the court of the Habsburgs, first in Florence and then in Vienna, from her youth she had a strong vocation to prayer, but also to educational service. She consecrated herself to God and, through various experiences, was able to form a new Religious Community at Verona, under the protection of the Holy Family, which is still alive in the Church. We unite ourselves to their joy and to their thanksgiving.
Observed today in Italy is the Day of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart. I encourage support to this important institution, which continues to invest in the formation of young people for a better world.
Christian formation is based on the Word of God. Therefore, I am pleased to recall also that “Biblical Sunday” is being held today in Poland. Read publicly in parish churches, in schools and in the mass media is a part of Sacred Scripture. I wish every good for this initiative.
And you, dear friends of Catholic Action, I thank you from my heart, at the end of this meeting, for your presence! And, through you, I greet all your parish groups, families, children, youngsters, young people and elderly. Go forward!
And I extend my greeting to the pilgrims that at this hour are united to us for the Marian prayer, especially those who have come from Spain, Croatia, Germany and Puerto Rico. We turn together to Mary, our Mother. We thank her particularly for the Apostolic Journey to Egypt, which I just carried out. I ask the Lord to bless all the Egyptian people, so hospitable, the Authorities and the Christian and Muslim faithful; may He give peace to that country.
Regina Coeli . . .
[Translation by Virginia M. Forrester]