Vatican City, 3 September 2014 (VIS) – In his greetings in various languages, following his catechesis during today’s general audience, the Pope addressed Arab-speaking pilgrims, especially those from Iraq, reminding them that the Church is a mother and therefore, like all mothers, know how to accompany her child when in need, to seek him out when he is lost, and to “defend the defenceless and persecuted”. “Today, I especially wish to assure the latter, the defenceless and persecuted, of my closeness – you are in the heart of the Church, the Church suffers with you and is proud of you, proud to have sons and daughters like you. You are the strength and the concrete and authentic example of her message of salvation, forgiveness and love. I embrace all of you, all of you. May the Lord bless you and protect you always”.
He went on to address Polish-speaking pilgrims and recalled that, during these days various cities in Poland commemorate the 75th anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War. “Let us entrust to God’s mercy those who lost their lives for the love of their homeland and their brothers, and let us invoke the gift of peace in all the nations of Europe and throughout the world, by the intercession of Mary, Queen of Peace”.
Finally, he greeted the faithful from the Italian diocese of Terni-Narni-Amelia, to whom he expressed his concerns regarding the difficult situation experienced by many families in Terni due to the plans of the Thyssenkrupp Corporation, and renewed his appeal that “the logic of profit may not prevail, but rather that of solidarity and justice. The person and his or her dignity is at the heart of every issue, including that of work. We must not joke about work. Those who, for the sake of money, business and greater profit, leave people without work, must be aware that this means removing their dignity”.