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Greetings to pilgrims: Lent, time of spiritual renewal and solidarity, 01.03.2017

At the end of his catechesis the Holy Father greeted, as usual, the faithful and pilgrims from different countries who attended the general audience, including Arabic speakers, in particular from Iraq, Jordan and the Middle East. He also welcomed, among French speakers, young people from Paris, Pignan, Saint Cloud, Switzerland and Belgium, and English speakers from the United States and Korea.

Francis greeted Italians parish groups and associations: the Friends of the Heart from Altamura, who gave him the gift of a defibrillator; students from Civitavecchia, Legnano, Cislago, Thiene and Cefalù, as well as the “Livia Bottardi” Technical Institute for Tourism and the Dutch Christian school of Meppel. “I hope that this encounter at the beginning of Lent will inspire spiritual renewal with participation in the Lenten celebrations and solidarity campaigns that many ecclesial organs, in various parts of the world, promote to bear witness to our brothers in need”.

“A special thought goes to the young, the sick and newly weds. Dear brothers, today, Ash Wednesday, may the Lord show you the path of hope to follow. May the Holy Spirit guide you to undertake a true path of conversion, to rediscover the gift of the Word of God, to be purified of sin and to serve Christ, present in our brothers”.