Pope greets advocates for leprosy victims at Angelus
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- In a rain-soaked St. Peter's Square, the Holy Father recognized the World Day for Leprosy on Sunday.  After the Angelus, he sent a special greeting to a delegation from a local Italian chapter of an international association working for the eradication of the disease.

"A special greeting to the Italian Association of Friends of Raoul Follereau!" said Pope Benedict, waving to representatives of the group who held aloft a banner in the Square below.

Members of the group represent an initiative started by French-born writer Raoul Follereau, who was first introduced to the ravages of leprosy after he was sent on assignment to the Sahara in 1936.

According to a biography from the Association's Italian branch, upon encountering "leprosy-affected persons" there for the first time, he was so moved that he became a lifetime advocate for those who suffered from the disease.

Follereau gave 1,200 conferences worldwide on leprosy in the following ten years alone, wanting to free victims from the “segregation” and the stigma of the disease. He visited and befriended them to promote the idea that “leprosy-affected persons are human beings."

The overall objective of his international efforts for 40 years was to raise awareness about the poverty, injustice and indifference which worsened the victims’ plight.
In his message to observe the World Day for Leprosy of 2010, President of the Pontifical Council for Health Ministry, Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, also recognized "individual and collective poverty" as the underlying causes of the perpetuation of leprosy today.

Branches of the Association of Friends of Raoul Follereau are present in 23 countries on three continents and have observed the last Sunday of January as the World Day for Leprosy since it was established by their founder in 1954.

Pope Benedict also remembered recently canonized St. Damien of Molokai after the Angelus and entrusted the care and protection of the sick and those that care for them "so that a leprosy-free world can exist."

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Liturgical Calendar

January 29, 2015

Thursday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 4:1-20


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 4:1-20