MEETING WITH THE PILGRIMS PRESENT IN ROME
ADDRESS OF JOHN PAUL II
Saturday, 15 May 2004
1. It is with great joy that I meet with you this evening, dear brothers and sisters who represent the entire family of Bl. Luigi Orione.
I greet the Cardinals, Bishops, Authorities and all who have wished to be present for this celebration. I address a particular greeting to the General Director of the Institute, Don Roberto Simionato, who has expressed the sentiments of each one of you.
I then greet the various branches of the Don Orione Family: the Sons of Divine Providence, the Little Missionary Sisters of Charity, consecrated laity and associates of the Don Orione Lay People's Movement, the devoted and pilgrims coming from Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas.
I extend a special greeting to the young people and to the numerous disabled persons present, who give me the opportunity to embrace spiritually all the guests of your homes, looked upon by Don Orione as his "treasures" and precious "pearls". A thankful greeting goes also to the "Rai" [television and radio station] which offers to many Italians throughout the world the possibility to take part in this event.
2. It was a most pleasant surprise to hear the voice of Don Orione just now; how many hearts received comfort from that voice, how many persons received counsel! To everyone, it indicated the path of good.
Humble and brave, throughout his entire life he was always ready and bent low to the needs of the poor, so much so that he was nicknamed: "porter of Divine Providence".
His witness is alive still today. The world, all too often dominated by indifference and violence, needs persons like him who "fill with love the furrows of the earth [that are instead] so full of selfishness and hatred" (Writings, 62, 99). Good Samaritans are needed, ready to answer the "anguished cry of so many of our brothers who suffer and yearn for Christ" (ibid., 80, 170).
3. Dear brothers and sisters, Don Orione clearly intuited that the first work of justice is to give Christ to others, since "it is charity that edifies and unites all in Christ and in his Church" (ibid., 61, 153).
Here lies the secret of holiness, but also of the peace that we ardently desire, for families and peoples. May Don Orione intercede for peace especially in the Holy Land, Iraq and the other areas of the world thrown into confusion by wars and bloody conflicts.
We now turn to Our Lady, to whom your Founder was always entirely devoted, so that she may continue to protect the Little Work of Divine Providence, called to proclaim and witness the Gospel to the men and women of the third millennium.
To everyone I extend my Blessing.
1. Mary, Mother of Christ and of the Church, as we contemplate next to you in glory Luigi Orione, father of the poor and benefactor of suffering and abandoned humanity, we consecrate to you the Little Work of Divine Providence, your "work" from the beginning.
Give to your little sons and daughters, O Mother, that unfailing capacity to love, which flows from the pierced Heart of the Crucified One.
Give them hunger and thirst for apostolic charity after the example of their Founder, who sighed: Souls, souls!
2. Remember, Holy Virgin, this humble religious Family that Don Orione offered to the Church following intense and continued prayer before your venerated image.
You wished to avail yourself of the Little Work, calling your sons and daughters to the highest privilege of serving Christ in the poor.
You wanted them to be animated by ardent charity and complete trust in your Divine Providence. May the sacred fire of love for God and neighbour never be extinguished in them.
3. Give them devoted love for the Successor of Peter, zealous obedience to Bishops, generous availability in serving the Christian community. Make them sensitive to the needs of their neighbour, attentive and solicitous toward their poorest and most abandoned brothers and sisters, the rejected and those looked upon as the dregs of society.
May the daughters and sons of Don Orione, sustained by boundless love for Christ, know how to welcome with inexhaustible mercy every form of human misery, showing love and compassion for all.
4. Grant, O Mary, to the Family of Don Orione, an immense and generous heart which knows how to encounter every suffering and to dry every tear.
Shower your graces abundantly on those who turn to you with trust in every need. May the life of the Little Work of Divine Providence be consecrated to give Christ to people and people to Christ.
5. Mary, shining star of the morning, placed by God on the horizon of humanity, gently spread your mantle over us, pilgrims on the paths of time, amidst numerous risks and snares, and come to our aid now and at the hour of our death. Amen!