This morning in the Consistory Hall Pope Francis received the members of the St. John Paul II Foundation, whose president is Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, and which celebrates its 35th anniversary this year. The Foundation supports initiatives of an educational, cultural, religious and charitable character, inspired by St. John Paul II, whose liturgical memory is celebrated tomorrow, and is active in various countries especially in Eastern Europe, where it has enabled many students to complete their studies.
The celebration of the anniversary allows the Foundation to evaluate the work that has been carried out so far, and at the same time to look to the future with new aims and objectives. The Pope therefore encouraged its members to continue their efforts in the promotion and support of younger generations, so that they may face life’s challenges, always inspired by an evangelical sensibility and the spirit of faith. “The formation of the young is an investment for the future: may the young never be robbed of their hope for a better tomorrow!”.
“The Jubilee Year that is coming to an end encourages us to reflect and meditate on the greatness of God’s mercy in a time in which humanity, due to advances in various fields of technology and science, tends to consider itself to be self-sufficient, as if it were emancipated from any higher authority, believing that everything depends on itself alone. As Christians, however, we are aware that everything is a gift from God and that the true wealth is not money, which on the contrary can enslave, but rather God’s love, which sets us free”.
He went on to recall with emotion his trip to Poland where, he affirmed that he experienced “the joy of faith during World Youth Day. The Polish land has had two great children in St. Faustina Kowalska and St. John Paul II, both apostles of Divine Mercy. The Pope Saint expressed in his encyclical Dives in Misericordia how “through His lifestyle and through His actions, Jesus revealed that love is present in the world in which we live - an effective love, a love that addresses itself to man and embraces everything that makes up his humanity. This love makes itself particularly noticed in contact with suffering, injustice and poverty - in contact with the whole historical ‘human condition’, which in various ways manifests man's limitation and frailty, both physical and moral. St. Faustina, in her diary, noted an exhortation addressed to her by the Lord Jesus: “My daughter, look into My Merciful Heart and reflect its compassion in your own heart and in your deeds, so that you, who proclaim My mercy to the world, may yourself be aflame with it”.
“May the words, and above all the examples of life of these two luminous witnesses always inspire your generous effort”, concluded the Holy Father. “May the Virgin Mary, Mater Misericordiae, protect and accompany you. I impart my heartfelt blessing to all of you and your families and communities, and I ask you to pray for me”.