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Angelus: “I give thanks to God for the opportunity to come to this land”, 01.11.2016

After Holy Mass, the Pope gave thanks to the bishop of Stockholm, Anders Arborelius, the authorities and all those who participated in the preparation and realisation of the trip. He then cordially greeted the president and secretary general of the Lutheran World Foundation, the Archbishop of the Church of Sweden and the members of the ecumenical delegations and the diplomatic corps present on this occasion, “and all those who have joined us in this celebration of the Eucharist”.

“I thank God that I was able to visit this land and to meet with you, many of whom have come from all over the world. As Catholics, we are part of a great family and are sustained in the same communion. I encourage you to express your faith in prayer, in the sacraments, and in generous service to those who are suffering and in need. I urge you to be salt and light, wherever you find yourselves, through the way you live and act as followers of Jesus, and to show great respect and solidarity with our brothers and sisters of other churches and Christian communities, and with all people of good will”.

“In our life, we are not alone; we have the constant help and companionship of the Virgin Mary.  Today she stands before us as first among the saints, the first disciple of the Lord. We flee to her protection and to her we present our sorrows and our joys, our fears and our aspirations. We put everything under her protection, in the sure knowledge that she watches over us and cares for us with a mother’s love”.

“Dear brothers and sisters, I ask you to keep me in your prayers. I keep you all very present in my own. Now, together, let us turn to Our Lady and pray the Angelus”.

Following the final blessing, the Pope returned to the sacristy, and shortly after transferred by car to Malmö airport from where, after farewell greetings from the minister for culture and democracy, Alice Bah-Kuhnke, he departed for Rome, where he arrived at around 3.30 p.m.