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Pope Francis to Teens: Pray for Kidnapped Bishops and Priests in Syria

© the deacon´s bench blog

Diane Montagna - published on 04/24/16

The Holy Father’s Regina Caeli address on the Jubilee for Boys and Girls (Full Text)

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has asked young Catholics, and the entire Church, to pray for the release of bishops, priests, and religious who have been kidnapped and are being held hostage in Syria.

“I have a constant and keen concern for the brother bishops, priests and religious, Catholic and Orthodox, who were kidnapped a long time ago in Syria,” Pope Francis told teens, pilgrims and all the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday morning for the Regina Caeli.

“May the merciful God touch the hearts of their kidnappers and grant that our brothers and sisters may be freed as soon as possible, and be allowed to return to their communities. I invite all of you to pray for this, without forgetting the other persons in the world who have been kidnapped,” he said.

On Sunday morning the Pope celebrated Holy Mass outside St. Peter’s Basilica for the Jubilee for Boys and Girls. At the end of Mass, he blessed and gave to several teens a little cross, which all the participants received as a gift from the pope for participating in the Year of Mercy.

Before singing the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis addressed to teens and all those gathered in the square the following words:

At the conclusion of this Jubilee celebration, my thoughts turn in a particular way to you, dear boys and girls. You have come from Italy and from various parts of the world to experience moments of faith and fraternal conviviality. Thank you for your joyful and boisterous witness. Go forward with courage!

Yesterday, in Burgos (Spain), the priest, Valentín Palencia Marquina, and four of his young martyr companions, who were killed for their faith during the Spanish Civil War, were proclaimed Blessed. Let us praise the Lord for these, his courageous witnesses, and through their intercession let us beseech him to free the world from every form of violence.

I have a constant and keen concern for the brother bishops, priests and religious, Catholic and Orthodox, who were kidnapped a long time ago in Syria. May the merciful God touch the hearts of their kidnappers and grant that our brothers and sisters may be freed as soon as possible and be allowed to return to their communities. I invite all of you to pray for this, without forgetting the other persons in the world who have been kidnapped.

Let us entrust all our aspirations and hopes to the intercession of Mary, Mother of Mercy.

After giving his blessing, Pope Francis said:

Dear young people, you have celebrated the Jubilee: Now return home with the joy of your Christian identity. Standing, head held high, and with your ID card in your hands and in your heart! May the Lord accompany you. And, please pray also for me. Thank you.

Translation by Diane Montagnaof Aleteia’s English edition.

Tags:
Pope FrancisSyria
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