Vatican City, 26 October 2015 (VIS) – Following the Holy Mass for the conclusion of the Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, celebrated in St. Peter's Basilica, Pope Francis appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with the faithful and pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square. Before the Marian prayer, the Pope invited those present to “give thanks to God for these three weeks of intense work, inspired by prayer and by a spirit of authentic communion. It has been arduous but it was a true gift from God, which will surely bear many fruits”. He explained that “the word 'Synod' means 'to walk together' and reflected on the Synod experience, also mentioning the continuing refugee crisis.
“This Word of God tells us that the first Who wishes to walk together with us, to have a 'synod' with us is … our Father. His 'dream' is, and has always been, to form a people, to bring them together, leading them toward the land of freedom and peace. And this people is made up of families, the 'mothers and those with child'; it is a people that, as it proceeds, perpetrates life, with God's blessing. … I confess to you that I compare this prophecy of the journeying people with the images of refugees on the streets of Europe, a dramatic situation in our days. God too says to them, 'They departed in tears, but I will console them and guide them; I will lead them to brooks of water'. Even those families who suffer the most, who have been uprooted from their lands, were present with us in the Synod, in our prayers and in our work, through the voices of some of their pastors present in the Assembly. These people in search of dignity, these families looking for peace are still with us. The Church does not abandon them, because they belong to the people that God wants to free from slavery and lead to freedom”.
After praying the Angelus, Pope Francis greeted pilgrims from several countries, especially the Brotherhood of the Lord of Miracles of Rome, “who with great devotion have brought the image venerated in Lima, Peru”, the musical pilgrims of the “Musikverein Manhartsberg” from the Austrian diocese of Vienna and the Orchestra of Landwehr, Fribourg, Switzerland, who had performed in a concert for charity the previous day.