By Vatican News
The Father David De Oliveira Martins Social Centre started life as an unpretentious soup kitchen in Portugal, nearly 70 years ago. Since then it has grown to become a government-recognized Social Solidarity Institution, offering care, shelter and support to orphans, needy children, and the elderly.
A beautiful gift of God
When Pope Francis met representatives of the Centre, including many young people, he called it a “beautiful gift of God”. The Pope acknowledged how the Centre is also the fruit of “contributions offered by humble and generous people in response to the call of Father David de Oliveira Martins”. Fr David, who died in 1990, dedicated his life to serving the poor and marginalized. “God gave him the grace to touch the hearts of the poor and humble”, said the Pope, “unleashing the revolution of tenderness everywhere”.
Always look forward
Pope Francis asked those present at the audience in the Vatican, to convey his “embrace to the people assisted, and to the assistants of the Institution in their various capacities in the service of children, young people, the poor and the elderly”.
The Pope also invited them to look to the future together. “Never let the past determine your life”, he said, “always look forward. Work and struggle to achieve the things you want. And may none of you ever feel alone”.
The revolution of tenderness
Always be Christ’s in prayer, concluded Pope Francis, “in the care of your brothers and sisters, the least among you. And do not be afraid to participate in the revolution to which He calls you: the revolution of tenderness”.