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Towards Mexico and Cuba

· At the Angelus the Pope asks for prayers for his upcoming Visit and offers thanks for the best wishes offered to him on his name day ·

Appeal for guaranteed water access and solutions to problems regarding work

The Pope asked the faithful to accompany him spiritually in Mexico and Cuba, where he will visit from 23 to 29 March. At the Angelus on Sunday, 18 March, in St Peter's Square, the Holy Father also entrusted his upcoming Visit “to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, so beloved and venerated in these two countries which I am preparing to visit”.

The Marian prayer on the eve of the Feast of St Joseph gave the Pontiff the opportunity to offer thanks for the best wishes he received for his name day. On this occasion Benedict XVI received numerous messages by Pontifical representatives, cardinals, bishops and bishops' conferences.

Gratitude and “profound affection of all the churches in Italy” was expressed in a telegram signed by Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco and Bishop Mariano Crociata, respectively president and general secretary of the Italian Episcopal Conference. Especially meaningful were the best wishes from the highest civil authorities of Italy. Those of the Prime Minister, Mario Monti, were addressed to the Pope during a telephone conversation which took place between the study of the Palazzo Chigi and the Pontifical apartment. Benedict XVI reciprocated these best wishes to the Italian premier, who celebrated his birthday on 19 March.  A message from the President of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, also arrived for the Pope. “The solemnity of St Joseph”, wrote the Head of State, “ is dear to the Italian nation, which recognizes this beloved paternal figure and lofty reference to the institute of family. In this spirit, I desire that you, Your Holiness, may accept these sincere wishes for health and serenity”.

At the end of the Angelus the Pope launched an Appeal to the international community calling for

“a fair, reliable and adequate water access” to be  guaranteed for everyone. The Pontiff's thoughts also went to the workers of Alcoa in Portovesme, Sardinia, that “their difficult situation, as other similar situations, may find an appropriate solution”.

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St. Peter’s Square

Nov. 17, 2018

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