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Saint Peter's Square
Wednesday, 22 March 2017



Dear Brothers and Sisters: In our continuing catechesis on Christian hope, today we reflect on two words used by Saint Paul in the opening reading: steadfastness and encouragement. Paul says that both are contained in the message of the Scriptures, but even more, that ours is a God of steadfastness and encouragement (cf. Rom 15:4-5). In the Christian life, we are called to spread hope by supporting and encouraging one another, especially those in danger of faltering. But we do so with the strength provided by the Lord, who is our unfailing source of hope. Faithful to the Apostle’s injunction, may we always live in harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus (v. 5).

Holy Father:

Saluto i pellegrini di lingua inglese presenti all’odierna Udienza, specialmente quelli provenienti da Inghilterra, Danimarca, Norvegia e Stati Uniti d’America. Auspico che questa nostra celebrazione di Quaresima sia per voi e per le vostre famiglie un tempo di grazia e di rinnovamento spirituale, colmo di gioia e pace nel Signore Gesù.

Rivolgo il mio cordiale saluto ai partecipanti al Convegno sul tema: “Watershed: Replenishing Water Values for a Thirsty World”, promosso dal Pontificio Consiglio per la Cultura e dal Capitolo Argentino del Club di Roma. Proprio oggi si celebra la Giornata Mondiale dell’Acqua, istituita 25 anni fa dalle Nazioni Unite, mentre ieri ricorreva la Giornata Internazionale delle Foreste. Mi rallegro di questo incontro, che segna una nuova tappa nell’impegno congiunto di varie istituzioni per sensibilizzare alla necessità di tutelare l’acqua come bene di tutti, valorizzando anche i suoi significati culturali e religiosi. Incoraggio in particolare il vostro sforzo nel campo educativo, con proposte rivolte ai bambini e ai giovani. Grazie per quanto fate, e che Dio vi benedica!


I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, particularly the groups from England, Denmark, Norway and the United States of America. May this Lent be a time of grace-filled time of spiritual renewal, filled with the Lord’s blessings of joy and peace.

I also offer a special welcome to the participants in the “Watershed” Conference on replenishing water values for a thirsty world”, co-hosted by the Pontifical Council for Culture and the Argentinian Chapter of the Club of Rome. Today is World Water Day, instituted twenty-five years ago by the United Nations, while yesterday was the International Day of Forests. I am happy that this meeting is taking place, for it represents yet another stage in the joint commitment of various institutions to raising consciousness about the need to protect water as a treasure belonging to everyone, mindful too of its cultural and religious significance. I especially encourage your efforts in the area of education, through programmes directed to children and young people. Thank you for all that you do and may God bless you!


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