MESSAGE OF JOHN PAUL II
To the Children at Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital
I am happy, dear children, during my visit to St. Louis, to be able to see some of you personally at the Kiel Center, and to be able to embrace you one by one.
You are all dear to my heart, even if I have not been able to see all of you today. I want the young boys and girls being taken care of at Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital and all sick children everywhere to know that the Pope prays for each one of you.
You know how much Jesus loved children and how pleased he was to be with them. You too are very special to him. Some of you and your friends have suffered a lot and you feel the burden of what has happened to you. I want to encourage you to be patient and to stay close to Jesus, who suffered and died on the Cross out of love for you and me.
Surrounding you are other people who love you very much. Among them are the Franciscan Sisters of Mary; for many years they have faithfully administered this hospital. There are also those who actually take care of you and those who work hard to support the Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital. And of course there are your families and friends who love you very much and want you to be strong and brave. I am happy to bless all of them.
Today I am thinking also about so many other sick people in the Archdiocese of St. Louis and beyond. I send my greetings to all the sick and suffering, and to the elderly, and I assure them of a special place in my daily prayers. They have a particularly fruitful role in the spiritual heart of the Church.
I invite all the sick to trust in Jesus who said: "I am the resurrection and the life" (Jn 11:25). In union with him, even our trials and sufferings are precious for the redemption of the world. May his Mother Mary accompany you and fill your hearts with joy. With my Apostolic Blessing.
From St. Louis, January 26, 1999