The Holy Father Francis is getting back from his trip in Asia, where, as he also stressed many times, he visited Sri Lanka and Philippines Churches to strengthen their faith, to be present where poorness and conflicts lie, and to spur the to act as way to peace and dialogue.
It’s impossible to stress some segments without excluding some others equally important…
Making a sum up would end up being embarrassing. Suffice it to think to the crowds shown by the TV, the centres and the outskirts, the heads of state and the poor…
In an ad-lib speech, obviously in Spanish, Pope Francis gave us three words to live as Christians: head, heart, hands.
All the faithful recited the Rosery and Litany in Tamil and Sinhala languages before the arrival of the holy father at the shrine of Our lady of Madhu. Then Papal Anthem was sung as His Holiness Pope Francis arrives to the main portico of the Shrine and welcomed of His holiness Pope together with the Bishops.
After that welcome speech done by the Bishop of Mannar.
Prayer service began by the Holy Father and we listen to the small Scripture Reading taken of Mt 5:4.9-10
"Happy are those who morn; god will comfort them!
Happy are those who work for peace; God will call them his children
Happy are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires;
The kingdom of heaven belongs to them."
Then Holy Father address all the Faithful and said :
“We are in our Mother’s house.
Below the full text of the Pope's Marian Prayer at the Madhu Shrine.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We are in our Mother’s house. Here she welcomes us into her home. At this shrine of Our Lady of Madhu, every pilgrim can feel at home, for here Mary brings us into the presence of her Son Jesus. Here Sri Lankans, Tamil and Sinhalese alike, come as members of one family. To Mary they commend their joys and sorrows, their hopes and needs. Here, in her home, they feel safe. They know that God is very near; they feel his love; they know his tender mercy.There are families here today which suffered greatly in the long conflict which tore open the heart of Sri Lanka. Many people, from north and south alike, were killed in the terrible violence and bloodshed of those years. No Sri Lankan can forget the tragic events associated with this very place,