On Monday morning, 29 May, Pope Francis met with a group of young cancer patients from Poland. The Pope encouraged the children, who are receiving treatment at the Oncological Clinic of Wrocław, to “be apostles of God’s love in the Church and in the world”, and reminded them that Jesus loves them and is always with them, even in their most painful moments. The following is a translation of the Holy Father’s words.
Thank you for coming! I am happy to see you and greet you. Many thanks and welcome!… [to interpreter] How do you say, “Many thanks, welcome”, in Polish?
Dear friends, I am here among you to encourage you, to invite you to be apostles of God’s love. Your path in life is a little difficult, because you have to receive treatment, overcome illness or live with illness, and this is not easy. How many times in life do we find ourselves in situations where we lack the strength to press forward. But you are never alone! Jesus is always near and says to you, “Go, go, go onward! I am with you. I take you by the hand”, Jesus says, as when you were little and learning to take your first steps.
Dear children, Jesus is always beside us to give us hope. Always, even in moments of illness, even in the most painful moments, even in the most difficult moments: the Lord is there!
And also your relatives, doctors, friends, help you press forward. Think of your mother, who gave birth to you, and of your father.
God loves you, dear children. You are loved by him. Do you want to be apostles of God’s love in the Church and in the world? Jesus also needs you for this witness. He entrusts his projects to you and asks: do you want to be my apostles of God’s love? Answer him “yes” with enthusiasm and bring the joy of God’s love to others.
If anyone finds him or herself alone and feels abandoned, let us not forget that Our Lady is always near us, especially when we feel the weight of illness, with all its problems. She is there, close, the way she was next to her Son Jesus when everyone had abandoned him. Mary is always there, beside us, with her maternal tenderness. Let us think often of Our Lady, praying a Hail Mary. Let us pray a Hail Mary…
I offer you my heartfelt blessing. And please, do not forget to pray for me. I offer you my heartfelt blessing, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And pray for me.