Giada Aquilino - Vatican City
Pope Francis on Sunday made his way into the crypt of the Basilica of St. Nicholas and venerated the Saint's relics which are kept under the altar and were moved to Bari in 1087 from Myra, in present-day Turkey. The Dominican fathers, custodians of the Basilica, accompanied the Pope in this moment of recollection.
Prayer is the strength of a Christian community
Before the Eucharistic celebration in Bari, the Pope greeted the crowd in the Square in front of the Basilica. The Pope stopped for a few moments to bless children, before thanking the faithful in particular for having accompanied the work of the "Mediterranean, Frontier of Peace" meeting with prayer.
“Prayers are precisely the strength, the strength of a Christian community”, the Pope said. “The Pastors pray, but they must work during these days of reflection. But they felt accompanied and safe with your prayers. I thank you so much for this work, for this apostolate of praying, praying for the Church. Do not forget: to pray for the Church, for the Pastors... And in bad times we pray even more, because the Lord must always come to resolve problems.”
The example of the Virgin
Before the blessing, Pope Francis prayed that Mary, who - the Pope recalled - "prayed a lot during her life", would accompany the Church on her journey at all times.