By Lydia O'Kane
In the first of two greetings before he left the Mayor's office on Rome’s Capitoline Hill on Tuesday, Pope Francis addressed the people of the Eternal City telling them “to take care of each other, to be close to each other, to respect each other.”
Community, harmony, respect
In this way, he continued, “you embody in yourselves the most beautiful values of this City: that is, a united community, living in harmony, acting not only for justice, but in a spirit of justice.”
Describing the Capitoline Hill, or Campidoglio as it is known, as the cradle of Rome and the beating heart of its administrative and civil life, the Pope also said that the task of the Bishop of Rome and all the Christians of this city is, “to work concretely to keep the face of this Church always bright, reflecting the light of Christ who renews hearts.” Pope Francis told the people present in the square below that in his heart, are also “those who do not share our faith.”
“They are brothers”, he said, “to whom I offer my spiritual closeness and my encouragement to be every day ‘craftsmen’ of fraternity and solidarity.” “This is the task of a citizen”, he said.
The Pontiff continued by saying, “Like so many people throughout the world, you too, citizens of Rome, are concerned about the well-being and education of your children; you care about the future of the planet, and the kind of world we will leave to future generations.”
At the end of his visit Pope Francis greeted employees and their families at the Mayor’s office, telling them that although they didn’t make the headlines they were the backbone of this administrative centre for Rome.
He went on to say that, “with your daily commitment it is possible for citizens and visitors to go about their day to day activities in the City”. The Pope concluded, “With your work, you are striving to meet the legitimate needs of Roman families, who in many ways depend on your diligence.” “Thank you for everything you do.”