By Francesca Merlo
“Every poor person is worthy of our concern, regardless of religion, ethnicity, or any other condition”, says Pope Francis when addressing the members of St Peter’s circle”. The Pope acknowledges that the Circle’s main focus “goes to the sectors of human poverty in Rome”.
In doing this, continues the Pope, “you serve Jesus, who assured us: ‘whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me’ Mt 25, 40.”
St Peter’s Circle was founded in 1869, through the initiative of a group of young Romans. For 150 years, the Circle has been working in support of the Church’s charitable activities to help those who are most in need.
The Pope says that in all these years of activity, the three original fundamental principles: prayer, action and sacrifice, have always prevailed in St Peter’s Circle.
They have, in fact, he continues, been the foundation of a blossoming in their activities in the field of charity - activities that the Pope encourages them to pursue “with renewed enthusiasm”.
The importance of prayer
Pope Francis then goes on to highlight the importance of the first of the fundamental principles: prayer.
“Never forget the strength and the importance of prayer”, he says. He explains that in the charitable work that they have been pursuing for so long, there is a strong need to be supported and motivated by prayer, through listening to the Word of God.
“The secret to your success in each of your projects pursued lies in your loyalty to Christ, and in the personal relationship you form with him”, says the Pope.
Important through change
It is so important, stresses the Pope, especially in times like these of “great change…in which the ecclesial community feels called to proclaim once again the Christian message and its power of humanization”.
Finally, the Pope encourages them, by assuring them that despite these hard times they must be aware that their work “still has an important role to play”.