Yesterday, on the aircraft that carried him to Chile for his 22nd Apostolic Trip, the Holy Father Francis, as usual, greeted the media workers accompanying him on the papal flight.
Introduced by a presentation from the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Greg Burke, the Pope addressed the following greeting to the journalists:
Words of the Holy Father
Thanks, Holiness. Thanks first for this morning’s thought: we have all received the card [with the picture of the boy] from Nagasaki. Thank you especially for the chance to travel with you. We are a full 70 persons, including, I believe, 12 from Chile and Peru, so twelve new faces. I take the opportunity to let them know that this is a greeting; there are not 70 questions when we take our turns. That’s all. Maybe you want to say something.
Have a good trip. They told me from Alitalia that the Rome-Santiago flight is their longest direct flight: fifteen hours and forty… or twenty, minutes… I don’t know. We’ll have time to rest, work, lots of things. Thanks for you work which will be demanding: three days in one country, three in the other… For me it will not be so difficult in Chile because I studied there for a year, I have many friends and I know well – that is to say… I know more… In Peru I know less, because I went there two or three times for congresses, meetings….
Then, Greg spoke about what I gave you [the card]: I found this by chance. It was taken in 1945; on the back is the information. It is a boy carrying his dead brother, standing in line before the crematorium in Nagasaki, after the bombing. I was moved when I saw this [picture], and I dared write only “the fruits of war”. And I thought of reprinting it and giving it, because a picture like this says more than a thousand words. So I wanted to share it with you.
And thanks for your work!