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Saint Peter's Square
Sunday, 18 October 2015


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I am following with great concern the situations of heightened tension and violence that are afflicting the Holy Land. In this time there is need for much courage and much strength and fortitude in order to say ‘no’ to hate and vengeance and to perform gestures of peace. Let us pray for this, so that God may strengthen in all, governments and citizens, the courage to take a stand against violence and to take practical steps in easing tensions. In the current context of the Middle East it is more decisive than ever that peace be made in the Holy Land: this is asked of us by God and the good of mankind.

At the close of this celebration I would like to greet all of you who have come to pay homage to the new saints, particularly the official delegations of Italy, Spain and France.

I greet the faithful from the Dioceses of Lodi and Cremona, as well as the Daughters of the Oratory. May the example of St Vincent Grossi sustain the commitment to the Christian education of the younger generations.

I greet the pilgrims from Spain, especially from Seville, and the Sisters of the Society of the Cross. May the testimony of Holy Mary of the Immaculate Conception help us to live in solidarity and closeness with the neediest.

I greet the faithful from France, especially from Bayeux, Lisieux and Sées: let us entrust the joys, expectations and difficulties of the families of France and of all the world to the intercession of the holy spouses Louis Martin and Marie-Zélie Guérin Martin.

I thank the cardinals, bishops, priests, consecrated people as well as the families, parish groups and organizations.

Now let us address the Virgin Mary with filial love.

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