This morning in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father Francis received in audience the organisers and collaborators in the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, for the closure of the Holy Year, and addressed the following words to them:
“With great joy I receive you at the end of the Extraordinary Jubilee to express my personal gratitude for the great work you performed during this Holy Year”.
“I greet and thank, in particular, Msgr. Rino Fisichella, for his valuable efforts during these months, and for the words of greeting he has addressed to me. Indeed, it has been a dense year, full of initiatives in all the Church, where it has been possible to see and to touch by hand the fruits of God’s mercy. At the beginning, mine was a simple intuition; the Lord as always surprises us and goes beyond our expectations, and so that desire became a reality that it has been able to celebrate with great faith and joy in the Christian communities throughout the world. The Door of Mercy open in all cathedrals and shrines enabled the faithful to find no obstacle to experiencing God’s love. Something truly extraordinary happened, that now demands to be integrated into everyday life to let mercy to become a permanent commitment and way of life for believers”.
“All of you, in different ways, have made it possible for this event of grace to be celebrated in an orderly and safe manner, with a great flow of pilgrims, and such a way as to enable the emergence of the profound spiritual value the Jubilee represents. My gratitude therefore goes, first of all, to the Minister of the Interior who, responsible for safety, has ensured that pilgrims, not only in Rome but throughout the national territory, have been able to live the Jubilee in due safety and tranquillity. Alongside him I thank the Chief of Police and the Police of Rome who, along with the Vatican Gendarmerie, have shown how mutual collaboration can truly guarantee safety services to all. I thank the members of the bilateral Commission of the Holy See and the Italian government, in the person of the under-secretary Claudio De Vincenti. I must not omit to mention the Swiss Guard Corps and all the Vatican Institutions, in particular the Governorate and St. Peter’s Basilica for their great sense of dedication. Acknowledgement is also due for the efforts of the Heads of the Lazio Region, with the president Zingaretti, above all for the meticulous planning of the healthcare structures. The Technical Secretariat, presided by the Prefect of Rome, which brought together the different administrative sectors, including the Municipality of Rome, is to be lauded for having enabled the effective functioning of all the Jubilee events”.
“Finally, warm thanks are due to the many Volunteers from different parts of the world, who collaborated through their daily work, often silent and discreet, to making this extraordinary Jubilee a true event of grace”.
“‘If you wish to obtain mercy from God then you yourself must be a merciful person’. These words of St. Augustine’s can be of comfort to us. With your effort you have not only offered a competent contribution, but you have provided a true service of mercy to the millions of pilgrims who came to Rome. May your work be recompensed by the experience of mercy that the Lord will not deny you”.