Vatican City, 13 July 2015 (VIS) – At the end of the Holy Mass, Archbishop Edmundo Ponziano Valenzuela Mellid and the Orthodox archbishop of South America, Tarasios, greeted the Holy Father, who expressed his gratitude and, before praying the Angelus, invited all those present to look upon the Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our Mother.
“She is the gift that Jesus gives to his people. He gave her to us as our Mother at the hour of the cross and of His suffering. She is the fruit of Christ’s sacrifice for us. And from that moment, Mary has always been, and will always be, with her children, especially the poor and those most in need. She has become part of the tapestry of human history, of ours lands and peoples. As in so many other countries of Latin America, the faith of the Paraguayan people is imbued with love for Our Lady. They approach their Mother with confidence, they open their hearts and entrust to her their joys and sorrows, their aspirations and sufferings. Our Lady consoles them and, with tender love, fills them with hope. They never cease to turn with trust to Mary, Mother of mercy for each and every one of her children, without exception”.
“I ask Our Lady, who persevered in prayer with the Apostles as they awaited the Holy Spirit, to watch over the Church and strengthen her members in fraternal love. With Mary's help, may the Church be a home for all, a welcoming home, a mother for all peoples”.
Dear brothers: I ask you, please, do not forget to pray for me. I know how beloved the Pope is in Paraguay. I keep you in my heart and I pray for you and for your country”, concluded the Holy Father who, following the Marian prayer, blessed the one and a half million people who had attended the celebration.
He then travelled by car to the apostolic nunciature where he lunched with the 22 bishops of the Episcopal Conference of Paraguay. He then left the nunciature for the waterfront promenade of Costanera where he met with the young people of the nation.