Greeting the faithful in a variety of tongues during today’s general audience, the Holy Father addressed matters from world crises to a recently beatified teenager. He also emphasized the day's celebration of the archangels, inviting the faithful to turn to the spiritual beings for assistance.
The Pope addressed the faithful in a total of 13 individual languages during the occasion in St. Peter's Square. In six of these languages, he provided a catechesis on St. Matilda, while in the other seven he provided a short greeting and assured the faithful of his prayers.
In French, the Holy Father said that he was happy to welcome a group of Haitian pilgrims to Rome and told them that he "continues to carry the Haitian people in his prayers, asking God to relieve their misery." He expressed hope that the more than 50 Haitians in attendance would lead the country’s citizens to a greater personal relationship with Christ.
Turning to the humanitarian crisis caused by flooding in northern Nigeria, the Holy Father assured all of those affected, including the approximately two million who have fled their homes, of his spiritual closeness and prayers.
Of Czech Catholic attendees, he asked that they remain "ever faithful to the spiritual inheritance" of their patron and historical "giant" St. Wenceslaus, whose feast day was celebrated on Tuesday.
Turning to Slovakians, he said that the Marian month of October will soon be here and encouraged the faithful to follow her example to be "always ready to fulfill the will of God".
Rounding out the variety of addresses, he spoke in Italian, greeting participants in a Focolare Movement pilgrimage for last Saturday's beatification of Blessed Chiara "Luce" Badano. He invited them to follow in the young blessed's example, to continue her "commitment of adhesion to Christ and of evangelical witness."
Blessed Chiara's parents were able to greet the Pope personally after the audience.
Concluding in the same language, he greeted all young people, sick and newlyweds, recognizing Wednesday's celebration of the Feast of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael and the coming celebration of that for Guardian Angels.
These angels, he said, "push us to think of the provident attention with which God occupies himself of every human person.
"Feel beside you, dear young people, the presence of the Angels and let yourself be guided by them, so that all your lives might be illuminated by the Word of God. You, dear sick, helped by your Guardian Angels, unite your sufferings to those of Christ for the spiritual renewal of human society.
"And you, dear newlyweds," he said in conclusion, "turn often to the help of your Guardian Angels, so that you might grow in constant witness to an authentic love."