Pope: The sick are integral part of God's beautiful mosaic

.- During the Pope's visit to Turin on Sunday to venerate the Shroud and confirm the people of the city in the faith, the Holy Father stopped to see the sick and residents of the Little House of Divine Providence, founded by St. Joseph Benedict Cottolengo. He reminded the sick of their important contribution and highlighted the new life that "flowers" from Christ's passion.

The encounter was the last of the day and took place just after the Pope venerated the Shroud at the Cathedral of Turin, where he taught that the Icon "speaks to us," through blood, of the darkness and the light of Holy Saturday.

Remembering the founder of the "Little House" and the three religious families that have been born from it, the Holy Father expressed his gratitude to the sick as "the precious treasure of this house and of this work."

St. Cottolengo worked with the conviction that "the poor are Jesus, not his image," said Pope Benedict, remembering also that he referred to the poor as "our patrons." Moved by a love of Christ and man, he worked in "complete devotion to the service of the smallest and forgotten," recounted the Holy Father.

Speaking to the sick, the Pope said, "you carry out an important task: living your sufferings in union with Christ crucified and risen, you participate in the mystery of his suffering for the salvation of the world.

"Offering our pain to God through Christ," he taught, "we can collaborate in the victory of good over evil, because God makes our offering, our act of love, fruitful."

He implored the residents not to feel "foreign to the destiny of the world," but to see themselves as "precious pieces of a beautiful mosaic that God, as a great artist, is forming day by day.”

Christ died on the cross, said the Pope, so that "from that wood, from that sign of death, life could flower in all of its splendor.

"This House,” Benedict XVI said, referring to their residence, “is one of the mature fruits born of the Cross and the Resurrection of Christ, and it manifests that suffering, evil (and) death don't have the last word, because from death and suffering life can rise again."

Pope Benedict closed with a prayer, asking the Christ "illuminate our daily pilgrimage with the light of his Face; illuminate our life, the present and the future, the sorrow and the joy, the worry and the hope of all of humanity."

From the Little House of Divine Providence the Holy Father went to the airport for his return to Rome.

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