The following is the text of the video message the Holy Father Francis has sent to the Chilean and Peruvian people on the occasion of his upcoming Apostolic Trip to Chile and Peru, to take place from 15 to 22 January 2018.
Message of the Holy Father
Brothers and sisters of Chile and Peru,
Before my upcoming trip to these lands, I greet you affectionately. I am coming to you as a pilgrim of the joy of the Gospel, to share with everyone “the Lord’s peace” and “confirm them in the same hope”. Peace and hope, shared among all.
I want to meet you, look into your eyes, see your faces and be able to experience among you God’s closeness, His tenderness and mercy that embraces and comforts us.
I know the history of your countries, forged with determination, dedication; I wish, with you, to thank God for the faith and love for God and for brothers most in need, especially the love you have towards those who are discarded from society. The throwaway culture is increasingly invading us. I want to share with you your joys, your sorrows, your difficulties and hopes, and tell you that you are not alone, that the Pope is with you, that the whole Church welcomes you, that the Church looks to you.
With you I want to experience the peace that comes from God, which is so necessary; He alone can give it to us. It is the gift that Christ gives us all, the foundation of our coexistence and of society; peace is sustained in justice and allows us to find instances of communion and harmony. We must constantly ask the Lord for it, and the Lord gives it to us. It is the peace of the Risen One that brings joy and impels us to be missionaries, reviving the gift of faith that leads us to the encounter, to the shared communion of the same faith celebrated and given.
That encounter with the risen Christ confirms us in hope. We do not want to be anchored to the things of this world – our gaze goes much further, our eyes are focused on His mercy that heals our miseries. Only He gives us the drive to get up and continue. To feel this, God’s closeness, makes us a living community capable of moving with those who are by our side and taking decisive steps of friendship and fraternity. We are brothers who go out to encounter others, so as to confirm our same faith and hope.
I place in the hands of the Holy Virgin, Mother of America, this Apostolic Journey and all the intentions that we carry in our hearts, so that she, as a good Mother, may welcome them and teach us the way to her Son.
See you very soon! And, please, do not forget to pray for me. See you soon!