Vatican City, 27 June 2015 (VIS) – Yesterday afternoon Pope Francis sent a video message, transmitted simultaneously in Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay, for his upcoming apostolic trip to the three Latin American countries from 5 to 12 July. The following is the full text of the message:
“The trip is almost upon us. With this greeting I would like to express my closeness, my cordiality, and my good will. My desire is to be with you, to share your concerns, to show my affection and nearness and also to celebrate with you.
I would like to be a witness to this joy of the Gospel and to bring the tenderness and caress of God, our Father, especially to his children who are most in need, to the elderly, the sick, the imprisoned, the poor, those who are victims of this culture of waste. The Father's love, so merciful, enables us without measure to discover the face of His Son Jesus in every brother and every sister of ours, in our neighbour. It is necessary only to be near, to make ourselves neighbours. As Jesus said to that young doctor of the law when he asked Him, who is my neighbour? Do as the good Samaritan did, go and do the same, do not walk on by.
On this trip I will visit three sister nations in these lands of the American continent. The faith we all share is a source of fraternity and solidarity: it builds peoples, forms a family of families, fosters harmony and encourages the desire for and commitment to peace.
In these days before our meeting, I thank God for you, and ask you to be steadfast in your faith that carries the flame of love and charity, and to hold fast to the hope that never disappoints. I ask you to join your prayers with mine, so that the announcement of the Gospel reaches the most remote peripheries, and that the values of the Kingdom of God may continue to be a leaven for the earth in our days too.
May the Blessed Virgin, Mother of America, protect you, and may the Lord bless you. Thank you, we will see each other soon, and please, do not forget to pray for me”.