In a letter to the local newspaper of Bergamo, the hometown of John […]
25/04/2014 • 12:53
In a letter to the local newspaper of Bergamo, the hometown of John XXIII, Pope Francis described the holiness of Pope Roncalli as a “great gift for the Church”.
The letter to the “Bergamo Echo” the paper with which John Paul XXIII collaborated when he was a young priest is addressed to “Dear friends of Bergamo” – not only to those who belong to the Church, but to the whole civil community.
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He writes – Pope Francis says – to thank the Lord for the “great gift” that John XXIII’s holiness is for the universal Church and as an encouragement to “safeguard the memory of the land in which it flourished, a land where the deep faith of the people is expressed on a daily basis, a land where families are poor but united in the love of the Lord, where communities are capable of sharing in simplicity”.
“I know how much you love Pope John, and how much he loved his homeland” writes Pope Francis – “From the day of his election to the papacy, the name of Bergamo and of Sotto il Monte where he was born on 25 November 1881 – became familiar across the world. And still today, more than fifty years afterwards, they are associated to his smiling face and to his fatherly tenderness”.
Pope Francis points out that since the times of John XXIII the world has changed and Christians face new challenges. However – he says –“his legacy can still provide inspiration to a Church that is called to live the sweet and comforting joy of evangelization, it can accompany every man who is on a journey, it can be the ‘drinking well of the village’ where everyone can draw the fresh water of the Gospel. The renewal proposed by the Second Vatican Council opened the road – he said – and it is a special joy that the canonization of Pope Roncalli takes place together with that of the blessed John Paul II, who brought forward that renewal during his long pontificate”.
The Pope says he is certain that civil society will also be able to find inspiration in the life of Pope Roncalli and in the environment which generated him, in the search for new ways to build a culture of cohabitation based on the evergreen values of fraternity and solidarity.
“I ask you to pray for me” – Pope Francis concluded – “while I pray for all of you, especially for those who are suffering and for those who are sick – recalling the city Hospital that you have dedicated to Pope John – and for the diocesan seminary, which was so dear to his heart”.