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Monday, May 3, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 2 MAY 2010 (VIS) - At 6.30 p.m. today the Pope met with sick people in the church of the Little House of Divine Providence, founded in 1832 in the suburbs of Turin by St. Giuseppe Benedetto Cottolengo (1786-1842).

  "This meeting of ours", said the Holy Father at the beginning of his remarks, "tones in well with my pilgrimage to the Holy Shroud, in which we can read all the drama of suffering but also, in the light of Christ's Resurrection, the full meaning this has for the redemption of the world".

  Speaking of St. Giuseppe Cottolengo Benedict noted that, "though traversing dramatic moments in his life, he always faced events with serene trust. Attentive to perceiving the signs of God's paternity, he recognised the Lord's presence and mercy in all situations and, in the poor, saw the most familiar image of His greatness".

  "From the very beginning, the basic foundation of his work was the exercise of Christian charity towards everyone, which enabled him to recognise great dignity in all men and women, even those on the margins of society. ... Thus for this saint, taking on the burden of so much human suffering meant creating close, familiar and spontaneous relationships, founding structures capable of expressing such closeness with a family-like atmosphere that still continues today".

  The Pope assured the sick people that they have an important mission. "Living your sufferings in union with the crucified and risen Christ, you participate in the mystery of His suffering for the salvation of the world", he said. "Offering our pain to God through Christ, we can share in the victory of good over evil, because God makes our offering, our act of love, fruitful".

  And he went on: "This house is one of the fruits born from the cross and resurrection of Christ, and it shows that suffering, evil and death do not have the last word, because life can arise again from death and suffering".

  "In this place", the Holy Father concluded, "we can better understand that, if the passion of man was assumed by Christ in His Passion, nothing will be lost. The message of this solemn exposition of the Holy Shroud ('Passio Christi - Passio hominis') is particularly evident here".

  His visit over, and having greeted a number of the sick people present in the church of Cottolengo, the Pope made his way to Turin airport where, at 8 p.m., he boarded his return flight to Rome. Having landed at Ciampino airport, he then travelled back to the Vatican by helicopter.
PV-ITALY/                                VIS 20100503 (440)

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