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Friday, 18 September 2015


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I greet you with affection, and I wish all the best for our meeting in the Year of Consecrated Life.

I thank the Lord and each one of you for the service that you render to the Gospel, to the Church and to Hungarian society. May you always be sustained by the promise of the Risen Lord: “lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Mt 28:20). May this certainty infuse comfort and hope in us, in all the circumstances of life and of the mission.

In the various forms of consecrated life, I think of you close to the worries and expectations of the people; I think of you engaged in your specific contexts, with their difficulties and signs of hope. I encourage you to rejoice with those who are rejoicing and to cry with those who are crying; to ask God for a heart capable of compassion, in order to bend down to the bodily and spiritual wounds and to bring the comfort of God to many people.

I think that the most beautiful “face” of a country and of a city is that of the Lord’s disciples — bishops, priests, religious, lay faithful — who live with simplicity, in everyday life, the ways of the Good Samaritan, and make themselves close to the flesh and the wounds of their brothers and sisters, in whom they recognize the flesh and the wounds of Jesus.

This charity filled with mercy — we well know — comes from the heart of Christ, and we draw upon it in prayer, especially in adoration, and in approaching with faith the Eucharist and Penance. May our Mother Mary help us increasingly to be men and women of prayer.

Dear brothers and sisters, I hope you may continue with joy in your service, bearing a humble life witness, detached from worldly interests. This joyous and translucent testimony of our consecration is an example and encouragement for those whom the Lord calls to serve him. May the lay faithful, especially the young, perceive in you the fragrance of Christ, the fragrance of the Gospel.

From my heart I bless all of you and your communities; and I ask you to please pray for me.


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