MEETING WITH THE FAITHFUL OF LORETO
ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI
Square in front of the Shrine of Loreto
Dear Brother, Pastor of this Church in Loreto,
Thank you for this Meeting which ends my Visit here to Loreto, where I have been able to meet so many young people and live with them strong experiences of Eucharistic and Marian spirituality.
Actually, you citizens of Loreto are used to such imposing Youth Meetings with the Pope. In this respect, John Paul II's Meeting with European youth in 1995, called "Eurhope", has just been mentioned. I am sure that over and above the inevitable inconveniences they necessarily entail, such religious events, like the daily flow of pilgrims who come from all parts of Italy and from other parts of the world, afford you a precious opportunity to be increasingly developed. They are a constant invitation to grow in faith and devotion to Our Lady. Never forget the great privilege you have of living in the shadow of the Holy House! Take advantage of this to linger in dialogue with Mary, our heavenly Mother, a filial dialogue imbued with faith and love. With your hospitality, therefore, provide visitors and the devout with a daily witness of that motherly love which Mary wishes to dispense in this place to all her children. May the Holy House be the real centre and heart of your city!
In taking leave of you, dear friends, I ask you to give my greetings to your families and the assurance that I will continue to keep Loreto present in my prayers. I will remember each of its inhabitants, especially those who are suffering and are in material and spiritual difficulties. I will remember especially those who are in the hospital, whom I have been unable to visit and to whom I send my affectionate greetings. Once again, I invoke the motherly help of Mary on each and every one of you and, as I renew the expression of my gratitude, I bless you all with affection.
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