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Study of the Paul VI Hall
Saturday, 28 September 2019



Dear brothers and sisters!

I greet you all, and thank Bishop Jorge for his kind words of greeting and presentation of this beautiful gift of God, this marvel that is the Social Centre of Ruuílhe. It is in particular the fruit of the contributions offered by humble and generous people in response to the call of Father David de Oliveira Martins. He did not ask for himself; he asked for his brothers, who extended their arms to him in search of help. God gave him the grace to touch the hearts of the poor and humble, unleashing the revolution of tenderness everywhere, under the banner of “Father David's children”. From Rome, please convey my embrace to the people assisted, and the assistants of the Institution in their various capacities in the service of children, young people, the poor and the elderly. As ambassadors for the love you have for the Church and for the good you want me to do, you have sent the little ones. Thank you, Father Manuel Joaquim!

Your journey leads you to look to the future together: not to look at yourselves alone. As Paul teaches, “the present or the future – all are yours, and you are Christ’s and Christ is God’s” (1 Cor 3: 21, 23). You are Christ’s! This is the profound meaning of your history to this day, but it is above all the key to facing the future. Always be Christ’s in prayer, in the care of your brothers and sisters, the least among you. Do not be afraid to participate in the revolution to which he calls you: the revolution of tenderness (cf. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium, 88). Christ walks with you and guides you.

Before greeting you in a more personal way, I want to assure each and every one of you of my affectionate solidarity. Never let the past determine your life. Always look forward. Work and struggle to achieve the things you want. And may none of you ever feel alone; indeed, it is up to every man, created in the image of Christ, to be close to his neighbour. May God grant you to be bearers of His mercy, tenderness and love for one another. And may He bless the Padre David Social Center, with all those who shelter it and all those who manage, inspire and support it. I pray for you; and ask you to pray for me! Thank you.


*Bulletin of the Holy See Press Office, 28 September 2019


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