Vatican City, Dec 19, 2015 / 15:11 pm
Pope Francis on Saturday addressed rail workers, remembering the hard and sometimes deadly work that built the railways of Italy. He invited them all to embrace God's "medicine of mercy" in the Catholic Church's year of Mercy.
Speaking to about 7,000 rail workers in Vatican City's Paul VI Hall, the Pope remembered "the many people who have worked hard" to build the Italian State Railway rail network in its 110 years of existence.
"Not a few workers have also lost their lives in this labor," he said Dec. 19. "We remember them all – and let us make it so that – so far as it is in our power – such things do not happen anymore."
He praised the collaboration between Italian railways, local authorities and non-profit organizations that have created support centers to for people in need. These centers help keep Italy united geographically and as a society by preventing people from being left behind.
He also spoke about the Don Luigi Di Liegro homeless shelter and hostel, where he had celebrated Mass on Friday and opened a special Holy Door there for the Catholic Church's Jubilee Year of Mercy.