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Monday, May 3, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 2 MAY 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today made a pastoral visit to the Italian city of Turin, for the exposition of the Holy Shroud.

  Following a brief meeting with local citizens in the city's Piazza San Carlo, at 10.45 a.m. the Holy Father presided at Mass in the same square.

  In his homily Benedict XVI referred to the difficulties of living a Christian life, in which context he recalled "people who live their lives in truly precarious conditions, because of lack of work, uncertainty about the future, physical and moral suffering. I am thinking of families, of young people, of the elderly who often suffer solitude, of the marginalised, of immigrants", he said.

  The Pope went on, despite these many problems "it is precisely the certainty we receive from faith, the certainty that we are not alone, that God loves each of us without distinction and is close to each with His love, that makes it possible to face, to live and to overcome the burden of daily problems".

  The Pope encouraged families "to experience the Christian dimension of love in simple everyday activities, in family relationships, overcoming division and misunderstandings, in cultivating the faith which makes communion ever stronger".

  "I also wish to encourage the efforts being made, often with difficulty, by those called to administer the public weal", and their "collaboration towards the common good and towards making the city ever more human and inhabitable".

  The Holy Father particularly encouraged young people "never to lose hope, the hope that comes from the risen Christ, from God's victory over sin, hatred and death".

  Turning his attention then to the Holy Shroud of Turin, the Pope highlighted how "in it we see, as if reflected, our own sufferings in the suffering in Christ. ... For this reason the Shroud is a sign of hope. Christ faced the cross in order to place a limit to evil, in order to make us see, in His Easter, the anticipation of the moment in which, for us too, every tear will be wiped away and there will no longer be death, mourning, lamentation or fatigue".

  Benedict XVI concluded by encouraging the faithful of Turin "to remain firm in the faith you have received, the faith that gives meaning to life, that gives the strength to love. Never lose the light of hope in the risen Christ, which is capable of transforming reality and making all things new; in a simple and concrete way in the city, in neighbourhoods, in communities, in families, live the love of God: 'love one another as I have loved you'".

  Following Mass, and before praying the Regina Coeli, the Pope noted how the Virgin Mary is venerated in Turin as Our Lady of Consolation. "To her I entrust this city and everyone who dwells here", he said. "Mary, watch over families and over the world of work; watch over those who have lost faith and hope; comfort the sick, those in jail and everyone who suffers; Mary Help of Christians, support the young, the elderly, and people in difficulties. Mother of the Church, watch over the pastors and the entire community of believers, that they may be 'salt and light' in the bosom of society".
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