Vatican City, 14 May 2014 (VIS) – In his greetings in various languages at today's general audience, the Holy Father invited Portuguese-speaking pilgrims, among others, to pray the Rosary every day during May, the month of Mary. He also asked the Lord to grant to the faithful of Iraq and Syria the strength to offer, through their actions and their daily life, true witness to Christ and His Gospel.
In Italian he greeted the Daughters of St. Camillo, who are currently celebrating their general chapter, and urged them to be a “joyful sign of God's love among the suffering”. He thanked the faithful of Sardinia in attendance, returning the Pope's visit to the island last year, and encouraged them to “face the problematic situations that still afflict your beautiful island, persevering in hope and solidarity”. I assure you that I have not forgotten you and I pray. I remember well the words you shared with me on the serious problems in Sardinia. I assure you that I am close to you”.
Finally, he addressed a delegation from the “land of fire and poison”, in Campania, so-called on account of the illegal dumping of waste, the incineration of which spreads toxic substances in the atmosphere and in the earth. This is mostly due to the involvement of criminal organisations in the waste management sector, and is causing a high incidence of tumours of various types in the area. Francis expressed his spiritual closeness to the delegation, and emphasised that “the dignity of the human person and the right to health must always take precedence over any other interest”.