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Thursday, December 2, 2004


VATICAN CITY, DEC 2, 2004 (VIS) - John Paul II this morning received 180 members of the secular institute "Servants of Suffering," including the founder, Msgr. Pietro Galeone, and Archbishop Benigno Luigi Papa of Taranto, on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of its foundation. He noted that this institute "was born from an explicit wish of St. Pio of Pietrelcina with the aim of serving all those who suffer."

  "Over this period of ten years," said the Holy Father, "the institute has grown notably, becoming a vehicle of hope for so many people who are sorely tried, both physically and in spirit. You are called to proclaim the Gospel of suffering illuminated by faith." He went on to say that "looking at the clouds of physical and spiritual pain that envelop humanity, how much more necessary is the witness that you give! As 'Servants of Suffering' you are silent 'cyrenians' who help all those undergoing trials assuring them that God forgets no tears, but rather gathers them and writes them in His book."

  He urged members of the institute to "follow in the wake of Padre Pio, whose teachings are always current: be constantly inspired by them. Be apostles, like him, of prayer and suffering! Prayer illuminates the heart and makes it ready to accept suffering: suffering, welcomed with docile abandonment in God, opens the soul to understanding the pain of others."
AC/SERVANTS OF SUFFERING/...                VIS 20041202 (250)

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