Following today’s audience with Italian Catholic Action, on the occasion of the celebration of the 150th anniversary of its founding, the Holy Father Francis led the recital of the Regina Coeli with the faithful and pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
The following is the Pope’s introduction to the Marian prayer:
Before the Regina Coeli
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
Tragic news continues to arrive regarding the situation in Venezuela and the worsening of the clashes, with numerous dead, wounded and arrested. While I join in the grief of the families of the victims, assuring prayers for the repose of their souls, I address a heartfelt appeal to the Government and to all members of Venezuelan society to avoid all further forms of violence; may human rights be respected and negotiated solutions sought to the grave humanitarian, social, political and economic crisis that afflicts the population. Let us entrust to the Most Holy Virgin Mary the intention of peace, reconciliation and democracy in that dear country. And let us pray for all countries that are going through grave difficulties; in these days I think in particular of the Republic of Macedonia.
Yesterday, in Verona, Leopoldina Naudet, founder of the Sisters of the Holy Family, was proclaimed blessed. Raised in the court of the Habsburgs, first in Florence and then in Vienna, ever since her youth she had a strong vocation to prayer and to educational service. She consecrated herself to God and, through various experiences, was able to form a new religious community in Verona, under the protection of the Holy Family, which continues to thrive in the Church. We unite ourselves with their joy and their thanksgiving.
Today in Italy we observe the Day for the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart. I encourage you to support this important institution, that continues to invest in the formation of the young to improve the world.
Christian formation is based on the Word of God. Therefore, I also like to remember that today in Poland it is “Bible Sunday”. In the parish churches, in schools and in the mass media, a part of the Sacred Scripture is read publicly. I wish this initiative every success.
And you, dear friends of Catholic Action, at the end of this meeting I thank you from my heart for your presence. And through you, I greet all your parish groups, families, children, young people, and elderly. Go forward!
And, extending my greeting to the pilgrims who at this time are united with us for the Marian prayer, especially those from Spain, Croatia, Germany and Puerto Rico, let us address our Mother Mary together. Let us thank her in particular for the Apostolic trip to Egypt that I have just carried out. I ask the Lord to bless all the Egyptian people, who are so hospitable, the authorities, the Christian faithful and Muslims, and to grant peace to the country.