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Sala Stampa

Greetings to faithful from different countries, 11.01.2017

After today’s catechesis the Pope greeted, as usual, faithful and pilgrims from various countries present in the Paul VI Hall, including French speakers from the community of the Seminary of Saint Sulpice d’Issy-les-Moulineaux and English speakers from Australia, Japan and the United States. He also welcomed Arabic speakers, especially those from Syria, Lebanon and the Middle East, and Portuguese-speaking faithful, in particular the members of the “Grupo de cavaquinhos de Passos de Silgueiros”.

“I cordially greet the Polish faithful”, he added. “In the Church of Poland, this year is dedicated to Fra’ Alberto Chmielowski, on the centenary of his death. Following the example of this great saint of mercy, brother and defender of the homeless, the poor and the marginalised, let us take love, charity and hope to all those who are in need”.

Finally, he gave a cordial welcome to Italian faithful. “In particular, I greet the priests who teach in the major seminaries and in the institutes affiliated to the Pontifical Urbanian University, the ‘Fidelis Andria’ sports club, and students of the Istituto Caetani of Cisterna in Latina. I urge you all to live generously your ecclesial commitment in a spirit of humble dedication to your brethren”.

“Now I have to tell you something I would not like to say, but I must”, he said. “To enter the audiences there are tickets on which it is written in one, two, three, four, five and six languages that ‘The ticket is free of charge’. You do not pay to enter the audience, both in the Hall and in the Square; it is a free visit that one makes to the Pope in order to speak with the Pope, with the bishop of Rome. But I know that there are tricksters who make people pay for the tickets. If someone tells you that you need to pay to attend an audience with the Pope, it is a con. Be careful! Entry is free of charge. You come here without paying, because this is home to everyone. And if someone makes you pay to enter the audience they are committing an offence, like a delinquent, doing something you should not do”.

“A special greeting to the young, the sick and newly-weds”, he concluded. “Last Sunday we celebrated the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, an opportune occasion for reflecting on our own Baptism in the faith of the Church. Dear young people, rediscover every day the grace that comes from the Sacrament received. Those of you who are sick, draw from Baptism the strength to face moments of pain and discomfort. And you, dear newly-weds, know how to translate the commitments of Baptism into your journey of family life”.