Following the canonization Mass for four new saints, Pope Benedict XVI greeted the pilgrims present inviting them to rejoice in the saints canonized today and to pray for the victims of religious persecution in India, Iraq and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Directing his words toward English-speaking pilgrims, in particular the Official Delegation from India and those who came to celebrate the canonization of Saint Alphonsa of the Immaculate Conception, Pope Benedict recalled Alphonsa’s heroic virtues of patience, fortitude and perseverance. In the midst of deep suffering, he explained, they remind us “that God always provides the strength we need to overcome every trial.”
Addressing the violence against Christians in India, the Pope continued, “As the Christian faithful of India give thanks to God for their first native daughter to be presented for public veneration, I wish to assure them of my prayers during this difficult time.¨
He went on, ¨I urge the perpetrators of violence to renounce these acts and join with their brothers and sisters to work together in building a civilization of love. God bless you all!”
Turning to address the Italian-speaking pilgrims, Pope Benedict recounted that October is the month of the Rosary. He appealed to his audience to pray for the people of North Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and for Christians in Iraq and India. He concluded by invoking the protection of Mary, Queen of Saints, over the work of the synod of bishops.