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1 Iunie 2019
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Pope Francis blessed on Saturday in Iași the about 800 ailing people who waited for him in the 'Our Lady Queen of Iași' Roman Catholic Cathedral.

Pope Francis in Iași: ”I feel the warmth of being at home”


  Pope Francis in Romania. Photo: Agerpres

Pope Francis blessed on Saturday in Iași the about 800 ailing people who waited for him in the 'Our Lady Queen of Iași' Roman Catholic Cathedral, thanking them for bravely bearing their illness.

"I thank you all who accompany them and I thank you, the sick, for bearing the illness", said the Sovereign Pontiff, who also asked the faithful to pray for him.

Next moment of the Apostolic Visit in Iași was the Marian meeting with young people and families at the Palace of Culture, where he addressed a crowd of about 140,000 people.

"Here with you, I feel the warmth of being at home and part of a family, surrounded by young and old alike. In your presence and looking out at you, it is easy to feel at home. (...) Romania is the 'garden of the Mother of God', and in this meeting, I have been able to realize why. Mary is a Mother who encourages her children's dreams, who cherishes their hopes, who brings joy to their homes. She is a tender and true Mother who cares for us. You are that living, flourishing and hope-filled community that we can offer to our Mother. To Her let us consecrate the future of young people, families and the Church. (...) Today is Children's Day in Romania - let's greet them with a round of applause! The first thing I would like us to do is to pray for them, asking the Blessed Virgin to shelter them under her mantle. Jesus placed children in the midst of his Apostles; we too want to put them at the center and reaffirm our commitment to love them with the same love with which the Lord loves them and to make every effort to ensure their right to a future," Pope Francis said in his address.

Sovereign Pontiff said that as young people grow up they must not forget the beautiful and precious things they have learned in their family.

"Journeying together is not easy, is it? It is a gift that we have to ask for.  A work of art for us to create, a beautiful gift for us to hand on. But where do we start? I would like to take up a point made by our elderly couple, Elisabeta and Ioan. It is good to see when love sinks deep roots through sacrifice and commitment, work and prayer. Love took root in the two of you and it has borne rich fruit. As the prophet Joel says, when young and old meet, the elderly are not afraid to dream. (...) As you continue to grow in every way - stronger, older and even in importance - do not forget the most beautiful and worthwhile lesson you learned at home. It is the wisdom that comes from age. When you grow up, do not forget your mother and your grandmother, and the simple but robust faith that gave them the strength and tenacity to keep going and not to give up. It is a reason for you to give thanks and to ask for the generosity, courage, and selflessness of a 'home-grown' faith that is unobtrusive, yet slowly but surely builds up the Kingdom of God", Pope Francis said.

He added that the faith is definitely not listed on the stock exchange, does not sell, and may sometimes seem to not serve to anything.

"Faith, however, is a gift that keeps alive a profound and beautiful certainty: that we are God's beloved children. God loves with a Father's love. Every life and every one of us belongs to him. We belong as children, but also as grandchildren, spouses, grandparents, friends, neighbors; we belong as brothers and sisters. The Evil one divides, scatters, separates; he sows discord and distrust. He wants us to live 'detached' from others and from ourselves. The Spirit, on the contrary, reminds us that we are not anonymous, abstract, faceless beings, without history or identity. We are not meant to be empty or superficial. There is a very strong spiritual network that unites us; one that 'connects' and sustains us, and is stronger than any other type of connection. It is roots: the realization that we belong to one another, that each of our lives is anchored in the lives of others", said Pope Francis.

"'Young people flourish when they are truly loved,' Eduard said. We all flourish when we feel loved. Because love draws us out of ourselves and invites us to take root in the lives of others. It is like those beautiful words of your national poet, whose fond wish for your sweet Romania was that 'your children might live only in fraternity, like the stars of the night'. We belong to each other and our happiness is meant to make others happy. Everything else is nonsense. To journey together, wherever you may be, never forget what you learned at home. This reminds me of the prophecy of one of the holy hermits of these lands. One day, monk Galaction Ilie of Sihastria Monastery was walking among sheep grazing on a mountainside when he met a saintly hermit whom he knew. He asked him: 'Tell me, Father, when will the world end?' And the venerable hermit, with a deep sigh, replied: 'Father Galaction, do you want to know when the world will end? When there are no more paths between neighbors!' That is, when there is no more Christian love and understanding between brothers and sisters, relatives, Christians and between peoples! When persons lose all their love, then it will truly be the end of the world. Because without love and without God, no one can live on the earth!," the Pope cautioned.

Sovereign Pontiff added that life will fade away and people's hearts will cease to beat and wither when pathways between neighbors will disappear, because man cannot dwell on Earth without love and without God.

"During the Middle Ages, pilgrims set out together from this historical and cultural capital of your country, following the Via Transylvania on the way to Santiago de Compostela. Today many students from various parts of the world live here. I remember the virtual meeting we had in March with Scholas Occurentes, where I learned that this year your city would be the national capital of youth. You have two great things here: a city historically known for openness and creativity, and one that can host young people from various parts of the world as it now does. Two things that remind us of the potential and the great mission that can you can carry out: to open up paths for journeying together and pursuing that prophetic vision: without love and without God, no one can live on the earth. Today, from this place, new paths can open up to the future, towards Europe and many other parts of the world. You can be pilgrims of the twenty-first century, capable of imagining afresh the bonds that unite us", Pope Francis concluded. 



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