At the end of the concluding Mass for Italy’s 27th National Eucharistic Congress in Matera on Sunday, 25 September, Pope Francis prayed the Angelus with the faithful, invoking the maternal intercession of Mary “for the world’s most urgent needs”. The Holy Father recalled the day’s celebration of World Day of Migrants and Refugees, and prayed in particular for Myanmar, Ukraine, Cameroon and all the migrants and refugees in the world. The following is a translation of his words.
At the end of this celebration, I would like to thank all of you who have taken part, representing the holy People of God in Italy. And I am grateful to Cardinal Zuppi, who acted as its spokesperson. I congratulate the diocesan community of Matera-Irsina for the organizational and welcoming effort, and I thank everyone who collaborated in this Eucharistic Congress.
Now, before concluding, let us turn to the Virgin Mary, Eucharistic Woman. We entrust to her the journey of the Church in Italy, so that in every community the fragrance of Christ the living Bread descended from Heaven may be felt. Today I would dare to ask for Italy: more births, more children. And we invoke her maternal intercession for the world’s most urgent needs.
I think, in particular, of Myanmar. For more than two years that noble country has been martyred by serious armed clashes and violence, which have caused many victims and displaced persons. This week I heard the cry of grief at the death of children in a bombed school. We see that in today’s world there is a trend of bombing schools. May the cry of these little ones not go unheard! These tragedies must not happen!
Mary, Queen of Peace, comfort the martyred Ukrainian people and obtain from the heads of Nations the will power to immediately find effective initiatives to bring the war to an end.
I join in the appeal of the bishops of Cameroon for the liberation of some people kidnapped in the Diocese of Mamfe, including five priests and a religious sister. I pray for them and for the populations of the ecclesiastical province of Bamenda: may the Lord give peace to hearts and to the social life of that dear country.
Today, this Sunday, the Church celebrates World Day of Migrants and Refugees, on the theme: “Building the future with migrants and refugees”. Let us renew our commitment to building the future in accordance with God’s plan: a future in which every person may find his or her place and be respected; in which migrants, refugees, displaced persons and the victims of human trafficking may live in peace and with dignity. Because the Kingdom of God is fulfilled with them, without exclusion. It is also thanks to those brothers and sisters that communities can grow on a social, economic, cultural and spiritual level; and the sharing of diverse traditions enriches the People of God. Let us all work together to build a more inclusive and fraternal future! Migrants must be welcomed, accompanied, supported and integrated.