By Linda Bordoni
As he prepares to undertake his 22nd apostolic visit abroad, Pope Francis has sent a message to the people of Chile and Peru in which he expresses his closeness and the embrace of the whole Church.
The Pope is scheduled to depart on the two-legged journey on 15th January and return to the Vatican on 22nd.
Theme of Peace and Hope
“I will visit you as a pilgrim of the joy of the Gospel” Pope Francis says, to share "the peace of the Lord" with all and "to confirm you in the same hope". Peace and hope, shared among all as illustrated by the official logos of the journey he is about to undertake.
“I want to meet you, to look into your eyes, see your faces and, he continues, be able to experience the closeness of God among all of you, His tenderness and mercy that embraces and comforts us”.
Theme of love and mercy for those in need
And highlighting another leitmotif of his visit, the Pope praises the people he is about to be hosted by for the love they demonstrate towards those in need.
“Especially, he says, for the love you demonstrate towards those who are discarded by society.”
As the culture of waste dominates us more and more, he says, I want to tell you that you are not alone, that the Pope is with you, that the whole Church embraces you, that the Church sees you.
Theme of peace
Expressing his desire to experience the gift of peace, which he says, is founded on justice and allows us to find opportunities to share communion and harmony, Francis concludes his message pointing out that only by being a living community and by taking concrete steps of friendship and fraternity can we be brothers and sisters who come out to meet others to confirm one another in the same faith and hope.
“See you soon” he says, and… please do not forget to pray for me!