Vatican City, 24 July 2014 (VIS) – The shrine is “a temple that seems still, but that the people of God carry forward. In this way it has moved ahead for fifty years in the hearts of the many faithful who have come to venerate the saint, to implore for health, and to profess their faith. In this way it has moved into the heart of the area, projecting itself onto the whole city”, said the Pope in the message he sent to the faithful who will meet in the neighbourhood of Mataderos in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the shrine of St. Pantaleon. “I ask the Lord to grant you the grace to continue on your path, to continue this pilgrimage of the heart in the midst of this great city”.
The Holy Father went on to recall with nostalgia the time during which, as archbishop of Buenos Aires, he personally visited the parish dedicated to the doctor saint of Nicomedia. “I wish to be close to you to be able to relive in some way the occasions in which I was able to visit the shrine on 27 July to help the priests in confession. I returned home spiritually strengthened by this witness of faith. The good I received is unimaginable. And I wish to give thanks for all this good. May the Lord reward you plentifully”.
The pontiff concluded by assuring the faithful of his closeness and prayer and asked them to pray for him. “In these days of celebration … I am close to you. … May Jesus bless you and the Holy Virgin protect you”.