ADDRESS OF POPE FRANCIS
TO THE OFFICERS AND AGENTS
OF THE GENERAL INSPECTORATE FOR PUBLIC SECURITY AT THE VATICAN
Thursday, 22 January 2015
Inspector in Chief, Mr Prefect, Mr Commissioner, Dear Officers and Agents,
I am pleased to welcome you on the occasion of the exchange of good wishes for the New Year, which marks the 70th anniversary of your service. This traditional meeting gives me the opportunity to extend a personal greeting to you and to express my grateful appreciation for the work you carry out daily with professionalism and dedication.
My greeting and my wishes go first to Dr Maria Rosaria Maiorino, whom I thank for the kind words she addressed to me on behalf of all. I cordially greet the members of the Inspectorate for Public Security at the Vatican, as well as other managers and officials of the State Police Force and Chaplains led by the National Coordinator. I assure you of my special remembrance in prayer for your colleague Alessandro, who recently passed away, whose wife and son who are here I embrace with affection.
We have just started a new year, and many are our expectations and our hopes. On the horizon we also see darkness and dangers that worry humanity. As Christians we are called not to lose heart and not to be discouraged. Our hope rests on an unshakable rock: the love of God, revealed and given to us in Christ Jesus, our Lord. Let us remember the comforting words of the Apostle Paul: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword?... In all these things we are more than conquerors thanks to Him who loved us” (Rom 8:35, 37).
Dear officers and agents, in the light of this firm hope, your work takes on a different meaning, which involves human and Christian values. For you, in fact, have the duty to guard and oversee places that have great importance for the faith and the life of millions of pilgrims. Many people who come to visit the heart of Christian Rome often turn to you. May each of them feel helped and guarded by your presence and your attention. Yes, dear brothers and sisters, we are all called to be guardians of our neighbour. The Lord will call us to account for the responsibilities entrusted to us, for the good or ill that we have done to our neighbour.
Let us entreat the maternal protection of the Virgin Mother at the beginning of this new year. We entrust to her every concern and hope, so that in all circumstances of life we can love, rejoice and live in the faith of the Son of God who became man for us.
I ask you to please pray for me and I bless you from my heart. Thank you.
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