Vatican City, 12 May 2013 (VIS) – At the end of the Mass for the canonization of the new saints, the Pope greeted the official delegations from Italy, Colombia, and Mexico, led respectively by Italian Minister of Justice Anna Maria Cancellieri; the President of the Republic of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos Calderon; and the Adjunct General Director for Religious Affairs of the Presidency of the Republic of Mexico, Roberto Herrera Mena.
“May the Martyrs of Otranto,” he exclaimed, “help the dear Italian people to look hopefully to the future, entrusting in the nearness of God who never abandons us, even in difficult times.”
The he asked for the intercession of Mother Laura Montoya that the Lord may “grant new missionary and evangelizing impetus to the Church and that, inspired by this new saint's example of harmony and reconciliation, the beloved children of Colombia might continue working for the progress of peace and justice in their country.”
“In the hands of St. Guadalupe Garcia Zavala, we place all the poor, the sick, and those who assist them, and we entrust to her intercession the noble Mexican nation so that, all violence and insecurity banished, it may advance ever more along the path of solidarity and fraternal coexistence.”
The Holy Father also noted that yesterday, Saturday 11 May, Fr. Luigi Novarese, founder of the volunteer Centre of the Suffering and the Silent Works of the Cross, was beatified in Rome. Fr. Novarese was “an exemplary priest who renewed the pastoral outreach to the sick, making them active subjects in the Church.”
Finally, the Bishop of Rome greeted those participating in the “March for Life” that took place today in Rome, inviting them all to “keep everyone's attention alive to the very important topic of respect for human life from the moment of its conception. In this regards I would also like to note the signatures being gathered today in many Italian parishes for the purpose of sustaining the European citizens' initiative 'One of Us', to guarantee legal protection to embryos, protecting every human being from the first instant of their existence. A special moment for those who have the defence of the sacredness of human life at heart will be the 'Evangelium Vitae Day', which will take place here in the Vatican within the context of the Year of Faith, this 15-16 June.”