Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
I welcome you and thank the Secretary General for his words. This meeting with
you, who form one of the historic Italian trade union organisations, invites me to
once again express my closeness to the world of work, especially to the people and
families who are struggling the most.
There is no union without workers and there are no free workers without a union.
We live in an age which, despite technological progress – and sometimes precisely
because of that perverse system which calls itself technocracy (cf. Laudato si’,
106-114) – has partially disappointed the expectations of justice in the workplace.
And this requires above all to start afresh from the value of work, as a meeting
place between personal vocation and the social dimension. Working allows the
person to realize himself, to experience fraternity, to cultivate social friendship and
to improve the world. The encyclicals Laudato si’ and Fratelli tutti can help to
undertake training courses that offer reasons for commitment in the times we are
Work builds society. It is a primary experience of citizenship, in which a community
of destiny takes shape, the fruit of everyone’s commitment and talents; this
community is much more than the sum of the different professions, because
everyone recognizes himself in the relationship with others and for others. And so,
in the ordinary fabric of connections between people and economic and political
projects, the fabric of “democracy” is given life day by day. It is a fabric that is not
made at the table in some building, but with creative industriousness in factories,
workshops, agricultural, commercial, artisan companies, construction sites, public
administrations, schools, offices, and so on. It comes “from below”, from reality.
Dear friends, if I recall this vision, it is because one of the tasks of the union is that
of educating in the sense of work, promoting fraternity among the workers. This
formative concern cannot be omitted. It is the salt of a healthy economy, capable of
making the world better. Indeed, «human costs are always also economic costs and
economic dysfunctions always involve human costs as well. Giving up investing in
people to obtain a greater immediate profit is a bad deal for society” (Encyclical
Laudato si’, 128).
Alongside training, it is always necessary to point out the distortions of work. The
culture of waste has crept into the folds of economic relations and has also invaded
the world of work. This can be seen, for example, where human dignity is trampled
on by gender discrimination – why should a woman earn less than a man? Why
does a woman, as soon as it is seen that she begins to “get fat”, send her away so
as not to pay maternity leave? –; you can see it in youth precariousness – why
should life choices be delayed due to chronic precariousness? –; or again in the
culture of redundancy; and why are the most strenuous jobs still so poorly
protected? Too many people suffer from lack of work or undignified work: their
faces deserve to be listened to, they deserve union commitment.
I would especially like to share a few concerns with you. First, the safety of
workers. Your Secretary General mentioned it. There are still too many dead – I see
them in the newspapers: there are someone every day – too many mutilated and
injured in the workplace! Every death at work is a defeat for the whole of society.
Rather than counting them at the end of each year, we should remember their
names, because they are people and not numbers. Let’s not allow profit and the
person to be put on the same level! The idolatry of money tends to trample
everyone and everything and does not preserve differences. It is about training to
take the lives of employees at heart and educating yourself to take safety
regulations seriously: only a wise alliance can prevent those “accidents” which are
tragedies for families and communities.
A second concern is the exploitation of people as if they were performance
machines. There are forms of violence, such as illegal hiring and the slavery of
laborers in agriculture or on construction sites and in other workplaces, the
constraint to exhausting shifts, the underhanded game in contracts, contempt for
motherhood, the conflict between work and family . How many contradictions and
how many wars between the poor are consumed around work! In recent years
there has been an increase in the so-called “working poor”: people who, despite
having a job, are unable to support their families and give hope for the future. The
union – listen carefully to this – is called to be the voice of those who have no voice.
You have to make noise to give voice to the voiceless. In particular, I recommend
that you pay attention to young people, who are often forced into precarious,
inadequate, even enslaving contracts. I thank you for every initiative that promotes
active labor policies and protects people’s dignity.
Furthermore, in these years of the pandemic, the number of those who resign from
work has grown. Young and old are dissatisfied with their profession, with the
atmosphere in the workplace, with the forms of contract, and prefer to resign. They
look for other opportunities. This phenomenon does not mean disengagement, but
the need to humanise work. Also in this case, the trade union can carry out
prevention work, aiming at the quality of the work and accompanying people
towards a relocation more suited to each one’s talent.
Dear friends, I invite you to be “sentinels” of the world of work, generating alliances
and not sterile oppositions. People thirst for peace, especially in this historical
moment, and everyone’s contribution is fundamental. Educating for peace even in
workplaces, often marked by conflicts, can become a sign of hope for everyone.
Even for future generations.
Thank you for what you do and will do for the poor, migrants, fragile and disabled
people, the unemployed. Don’t forget to take care of those who don’t join the union
because they have lost confidence; and to make room for youthful responsibility.
I entrust you to the protection of Saint Joseph, who knew the beauty and the effort
of doing one’s job well and the satisfaction of earning bread for the family. Let’s
look at him and at his ability to educate through work. I wish a peaceful Christmas
to all of you and your loved ones. The Lord blesses you and Our Lady keep you. And
if you can, pray for me. Thank you!



Dear friends, good morning and welcome, and thank you so much for the good
wishes you have given me, thank you!
Thank you for having chosen to dedicate this edition of the Christmas Concert to
the theme of peace. Peace is the synthesis of all the good things we can desire and
it is worth spending the best of our material, intellectual and spiritual energies for
Peace, we know, is built day by day, it is a desire that accompanies and motivates
our daily life. But unfortunately, in this historical moment, peace is also an
emergency, as the slogan that promotes the solidarity project combined with the
concert says. In Ukraine, the Salesians of “Missioni Don Bosco” are close to the
populations, they work for the reception of refugees and for the distribution of food
and medicines. With this initiative we want to support them; but all of us, in
whatever role, are called to be peacemakers, to pray and work for peace.
The participation of so many artists in this project testifies to their willingness to
participate in solidarity with brothers and sisters who suffer from war, and whom
Christmas invites us to feel closer to. In fact, the message that the Word of God
addresses to us every year during Advent is not a message of resignation or
sadness, but a message of hope and joy, a message to be internalized and
communicated. And in this “communication” music and singing also come into play.
The liturgy and popular traditions of Christmas are full of music and songs. The
same Gospel account speaks to us of the hymn of the angels: “Glory to God in the
highest, and on earth peace to men whom he loves” (Lk 2:14).
With your song, you contribute to spreading this message of love and life, touching
so many hearts and widening the perimeter of fraternity. This is how God works in
human history, even in painful and desolate scenarios: with mercy he calls all of us,
he uses our talents as well as our limitations, and he wants to save today’s
humanity. Like at Christmas, every day!
Dear friends, your talent is a gift and it is also a responsibility, of which to be
grateful and aware, while – as Saint John Paul II wrote to artists – «with passionate

dedication seek new epiphanies of beauty to give it to the world» (Letter to artists,
April 4, 1999). Music soothes, disposes to dialogue, favors encounter and
friendship. In this sense it is an open road to peace.
Thank you for coming. Best wishes to you and your loved ones. I give you my
heartfelt blessing and ask God to bless you. And please don’t forget to pray for me.
Thank you!



Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen!
A cordial greeting to all of you on the occasion of the VIII Rome MED Dialogues
Conference, which for several years has been an appointment promoted by the
Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and by the Institute
for International Political Studies, in order to promote shared policies in the
Mediterranean area.
The method of this Conference is significant and important in itself, namely the
commitment to dialogue, discussion, common reflection, the search for solutions or
even just coordinated approaches towards those that are – and can only be – the
common interests of the peoples who, in the diversity of their respective cultures,
overlook the mare nostrum. A sea which, in its history as a medium terrarum, has a
vocation for progress, development and culture which unfortunately seems to have
lost in the recent past and which needs to be recovered fully and with conviction.
In fact, the Mediterranean has the great potential of bringing three continents into
contact: a link which historically, also through migration, has been extremely
fruitful. Africa, Asia and Europe border on it, but too often we forget that the lines
that delimit are also those that connect, and that the ambivalence of the term
“border” can also allude to a common goal: cum-finis. This is an aspect of which the
civilizations that preceded us and of which the Mediterranean was the cradle were
well aware. With regret we have to note that this same sea, today, finds it hard to
be experienced as a place for meeting, exchange, sharing and collaboration. Yet, at
the same time, it is precisely at this crossroads of humanity that many
opportunities await us. We must therefore resume the culture of encounter from
which we have benefited so much, and not just in the past. In this way it will be
possible to rebuild a sense of fraternity, developing, in addition to more just
economic relations, also more human relations, including those with migrants.
This Conference has the advantage of relaunching the centrality of the
Mediterranean, through discussions on an agenda particularly rich in topics, which
range from geo-political and security issues, to the protection of fundamental

human freedoms, to the challenge of migration, to the climate and environmental
The importance and multiplicity of the topics submitted to your reflection calls for a
fundamental consideration. This variety is itself already significant of how
ethical-social themes cannot be separated from the multiple situations of
geopolitical crisis and also from the environmental problems themselves. The idea
of tackling individual issues in a sectoral way, separately and regardless of the
others is, in this sense, a misleading thought. In fact, it involves the risk of arriving
at partial, defective solutions, which not only do not solve the problems but make
them chronic.
I am thinking in particular of the inability to find common solutions to human
mobility in the region, which continues to lead to an unacceptable and almost
always avoidable loss of human life, especially in the Mediterranean. Migration is
essential to the well-being of this area and cannot be stopped. Therefore, it is in the
interest of all parties to find a solution that is inclusive of the various aspects and
the right instances, which is beneficial to all, which guarantees both human dignity
and shared prosperity.
The interconnection of the problems requires that they be examined together, in a
coordinated and broadest possible vision, as emerged overwhelmingly already
during the pandemic crisis, another clear confirmation that no one is saved alone.
This globalization of problems reappears today with regard to the dramatic war
conflict underway within Europe, between Russia and Ukraine, from which, in
addition to the incalculable damages of each war in terms of civilian and military
victims, the energy crisis , the financial crisis, the humanitarian crisis for so many
innocent people forced to leave their homes and lose their dearest possessions and,
finally, the food crisis, which affects a growing number of people all over the world,
especially in the poorest countries. The Ukrainian conflict is in fact producing
enormous repercussions in North African countries, which depend for 80% on wheat
from Ukraine or Russia. This crisis urges us to consider the totality of the real
situation from a global perspective, just as its effects are global. Therefore, just as
it is not possible to think of tackling the energy crisis apart from the political one,
one cannot at the same time resolve the food crisis apart from the persistence of
conflicts, or the climate crisis without taking into consideration the migration
problem, or the to the most fragile economies or even the protection of
fundamental freedoms. Nor can it be taken into consideration detract from the
vastness of human suffering without taking into account the social crisis, in which,
for economic or political gain, the value of the human person is diminished and
human rights are trampled underfoot.

All of us must become increasingly aware that the cry of our battered planet is
inseparable from the cry of suffering humanity. In this regard, the words dictated
about two thousand years ago by Saint Paul in the Letter to the Romans resonate
as timely as ever, where he presents the common destiny of humanity and creation,
which – says the Apostle – nurtures the hope of being freed from the slavery of
corruption, to enter into the freedom of the glory of the children of God, in view of
which all creation groans and suffers in birth pangs to this day (see 8:21-22).
This is not only an otherworldly goal, but also the horizon of the commitment of
men and women of good will. May it also be the horizon of your dialogues! With this
wish I wish you a serene and fruitful work, assuring my prayers for this and
invoking God’s blessing upon all of you.



Dear boys and girls, dear teachers, good morning and welcome!
I am glad that you responded enthusiastically to the invitation of the National
Network of Schools for Peace. Thank you for coming! And thank you to all those
who organized this meeting, especially Dr. Lotti.
I congratulate you, students, and your educators on the rich programme of
activities and training you have undertaken, which will culminate with the
Perugia-Assisi March in May next year, where you will have the opportunity to
present the results of your work and your proposals.
Assisi has now become a world centre for the promotion of peace, thanks to the
charismatic figure of that carefree and rebellious young man from Assisi named
Francis, who left his family and riches to follow the Lord and to marry Madonna
poverty. That young dreamer is still a source of inspiration today for all that relates
to peace, brotherhood, love for the poor, ecology and economics. Throughout the
centuries, Saint Francis has fascinated many people, just as he has fascinated me
too, who as Pope chose to take his name.
Your educational programme “For Peace, with Care” is intended as a response to
the call for a Global Educational Covenant, which I addressed three years ago to all
those who work in the field of education, to appeal to them to promote “the values
of care for others, peace, justice, goodness, beauty, acceptance and fraternity”
(Video Message of 15 October 2020). And I am happy to see that not only schools,
universities and Catholic organizations are responding to this call, but also public,
secular and other religious institutions.
For there to be peace, as your motto so aptly puts it, one must “care”. We often talk
about peace when we feel directly threatened, as in the case of a possible nuclear
attack or a war being waged on our doorstep. Just as we take an interest in the
rights of migrants when we have some relative or friend who has emigrated. In
reality, peace always concerns us, always! Just as the other, our brother and sister,
always concern us, and we must take care of him or her.
A quintessential model of caring is that Samaritan of the Gospel, who rescued a
stranger he found wounded along the road. The Samaritan did not know whether

the unfortunate man was a good person or a scoundrel, whether he was rich or
poor, educated or ignorant, a Jew, a Samaritan like himself or a foreigner; he did
not know whether he had “brought that misfortune on himself” or not. The Gospel
says: “When he saw him, he had compassion” (Lk 10:33). He saw him and had
compassion. Others before him had also seen the man, but had continued on their
way. The Samaritan did not ask himself so many questions, he followed the
movement of compassion.
In our time too, we can encounter valid witness of people or institutions who work
for peace and take care of those in need. Think, for example, of those who have
received the Nobel Peace Prize, but also of the many unknown people who work
silently for this cause.
Today I would like to recall two witnesses. The first is Saint John XXIII. He was
called the “good Pope”, and also the “Pope of peace”, because in those difficult
years of the early seventies, marked by strong tensions – the building of the Berlin
Wall, the crisis in Cuba, the Cold War and the nuclear threat – he published the
famous and prophetic Encyclical Pacem in terris. Next year will be its sixtieth
anniversary, and it is very timely! Pope John addressed all men of good will, calling
for the peaceful resolution of all wars through dialogue and disarmament. It was an
appeal that received a great deal of attention in the world, far beyond the Catholic
community, because it grasped a need of all humanity, which still exists today. This
is why I invite you to read and study Pacem in terris, and to follow this path to
defend and spread peace.
A few months after the publication of that Encyclical, another prophet of our time,
Martin Luther King, Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1964, delivered the historic speech
in which he said: “I have a dream”. In an American context strongly marked by
racial discrimination, he had made everyone dream with the idea of a world of
justice, freedom and equality. He said: “I have a dream: that my four little children
will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their
skin, but by the content of their character”. […]



[…] Cari amici, come vi dicevo, vi sono grato perché il nostro incontro attira
l’attenzione sulla Giornata internazionale di quest’anno, che chiama ad unirsi per
combattere insieme ogni forma di violenza contro le donne. In effetti, per vincere
questa battaglia non basta un corpo specializzato, per quanto efficiente; non
bastano l’opera di contrasto e le necessarie azioni repressive. Bisogna unirsi,
collaborare, fare rete: e non solo una rete difensiva, ma soprattutto una rete
preventiva! Questo è sempre decisivo quando si cerca di eliminare una piaga sociale
che è legata anche ad atteggiamenti culturali, a mentalità e pregiudizi radicati.
Dunque voi, con la vostra presenza, che può diventare a volte una testimonianza,
fungete anche da stimolo nel corpo sociale: uno stimolo a reagire, a non
rassegnarsi, ad agire. È un’azione – dicevamo – anzitutto di prevenzione. Pensiamo
alle famiglie. Abbiamo visto che la pandemia, con l’isolamento forzato, ha purtroppo
esasperato certe dinamiche all’interno delle mura domestiche. Le ha esasperate,
non create: si tratta infatti di tensioni spesso latenti, che si possono risolvere
preventivamente a livello educativo. Questa, direi, è la parola-chiave: educazione. E
qui la famiglia non può essere lasciata sola. Se sulle famiglie ricadono in massima
parte gli effetti della crisi economica e sociale, ed esse non sono adeguatamente
sostenute, non possiamo meravigliarci che lì, nell’ambiente domestico, chiuso, con
tanti problemi, esplodano certe tensioni. E su questo punto ci vuole prevenzione.
Un altro aspetto decisivo: se nei mass-media si propongono in continuazione
messaggi che alimentano una cultura edonistica e consumistica, dove i modelli, sia
maschili sia femminili, obbediscono ai criteri del successo, dell’autoaffermazione,
della competizione, del potere di attrarre l’altro e dominarlo, anche qui, non
possiamo poi, in modo ipocrita, stracciarci le vesti di fronte a certi fatti di cronaca.
Questo tipo di condizionamento culturale si contrasta con un’azione educativa che
ponga al centro la persona, con la sua dignità. Mi viene in mente una Santa dei
nostri tempi: Santa Giuseppina Bakhita. Sapete che a lei è intitolata l’opera
ecclesiale che lavora accanto alle donne vittime della tratta. Suor Giuseppina
Bakhita ha subito nella sua infanzia e giovinezza pesanti violenze; si è riscattata
pienamente accogliendo il Vangelo dell’amore di Dio ed è diventata testimone della
sua forza liberatrice e risanatrice. Ma non è l’unica: ci sono tante donne, alcune

sono “sante della porta accanto”, che sono state guarite dalla misericordia, dalla
tenerezza di Cristo, e con la loro vita testimoniano che non bisogna rassegnarsi, che
l’amore, la vicinanza, la solidarietà delle sorelle e dei fratelli può salvare dalla
schiavitù. Per questo dico: alle ragazze e ai ragazzi di oggi, proponiamo queste
testimonianze. Nelle scuole, nei gruppi sportivi, negli oratori, nelle associazioni,
presentiamo storie vere di liberazione e di guarigione, storie di donne che sono
uscite dal tunnel della violenza e possono aiutare ad aprire gli occhi sulle insidie,
sulle trappole, sui pericoli nascosti dietro i falsi modelli di successo.
Cari amici, il mio duplice “grazie” lo accompagno con la preghiera per voi e per il
vostro lavoro. Intercedano per voi la Vergine Maria e Santa Bakhita. Di cuore
benedico tutti voi e le vostre famiglie. E vi chiedo per favore di pregare per me.



[…] As ambassadors of Belgian youth for the preparation of World Youth Day 2023
in Portugal, I invite you to cultivate closeness to all young people, especially those
who live in precarious situations, young migrants and refugees, young people on
the street, without forgetting others, especially those who experience a life of
loneliness and sadness. […]



Dear brothers and sisters, good morning and welcome!
You are all celebrating, aren’t you? I thank Fr Chiarello for his words of greeting and
presentation. I am pleased to be able to spend some time with you, who
participated yesterday in the Eucharistic celebration and in the Canonization of
Blessed John Baptist Scalabrini. You are a very diverse group — this is good! There
are missionaries, missionary sisters, secular missionaries and lay Scalabrinians;
there are faithful from the dioceses of Como and Piacenza; and then there are
migrants from many countries: a good mix, and this is good. In this way, you
represent well the breadth of the work of Bishop Scalabrini, the openness of his
heart, for which, so to speak, one diocese was not enough.
His apostolate in support of Italian emigrants was of great relevance. In that time,
thousands left for the Americas. Bishop Scalabrini viewed them with the gaze of
Christ, of which the Gospel speaks; for example, Matthew writes: “When he saw the
crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless,
like sheep without a shepherd” (Mt 9:36). And he took care, with great charity and
pastoral intelligence, to guarantee them adequate material and spiritual assistance.
Today, too, migration constitutes a very important challenge. It highlights the
urgent need to put fraternity before rejection, solidarity before indifference. Today,
every baptized person is called upon to reflect God’s gaze towards migrant and
refugee brothers and sisters — there are many of them — to let his gaze broaden
our own gaze, thanks to the encounter with humanity on the move, through
tangible closeness, following the example of Bishop Scalabrini.
We are called today to live out and spread the culture of encounter, an encounter
on an equal footing between migrants and the people of the host country. It is an
enriching experience, inasmuch as it reveals the beauty of diversity. And it is also
fruitful, because the faith, hope and tenacity of migrants can be an example and a
spur for those who want to commit themselves to building a world of peace and
well-being for all. And for it to be for everyone, as you well know, we must start

from the last: if we don’t start out from the last, it isn’t for everyone. As in
mountain hikes: if the ones in front run, the group breaks up, and the first ones
after a while burst out; if instead you keep pace with the last ones, you all go
together. This is a rule of wisdom. When we walk, when we go on a pilgrimage, we
always need to walk at the pace of the least.
To make fraternity and social friendship grow, we are all called upon to be creative,
to think “outside the box”. We are required to open up new spaces where art, music
and being together become tools for intercultural dynamics, where the richness of
the encounter with diversity can be savoured.
Therefore, I urge you, Scalabrinian missionaries, to always let yourselves be
inspired by your founder Saint, father of migrants, of all migrants. May his charism
renew in you the joy of being with migrants, of being at their service, and of doing
so with faith, inspired by the Holy Spirit, in the conviction that in each one of them
we encounter the Lord Jesus. And this will help you have the style of generous
giving, of sparing no physical and economic resources to support migrants in an
integral way; and it will also help you to work in communion of purpose, as a
family, united in diversity.
Dear brothers and sisters, may the holiness of John Baptist Scalabrini “infect” us
with the desire to be holy, each one in an original, unique way, as God’s infinite
imagination has made us and wants us to be. And may his intercession give us the
joy, and give us the hope to walk together towards the new Jerusalem, which is a
symphony of faces and peoples, towards the kingdom of justice, fraternity and
Thank you for coming to share your celebration! From my heart I bless you and
your travelling companions there where you live. And please, do not forget to pray
for me. Thank you!



As Jesus was walking along, ten lepers met him and cried out: “Have mercy on us!”
(Lk 17:13). All ten were healed, yet only one of them returned to thank Jesus. He
was a Samaritan, a kind of heretic for the Jewish people. At the beginning, they
were walking together, but then the Samaritan left the others and turned back,
“praising God with a loud voice” (v. 15). Let us stop and reflect on these two
aspects of today’s Gospel: walking together and giving thanks.
First, walking together. At the beginning of the account, there is no difference
between the Samaritan and the other nine. We only hear that they are lepers, who
together, as a group, approach Jesus. Leprosy, as we know, was not only a physical
affliction, one which even today we must make every effort to eliminate, but also a
“social disease”, since in those days, for fear of contagion, lepers had to remain
apart from the community (cf. Lev 13:46). Hence, they could not enter villages;
they were kept at a distance, isolated and relegated to the margins of social and
even religious life. By walking together, these lepers indicted a society that
excluded them. We should also note that the Samaritan, although considered a
heretic, “a foreigner”, is part of their group. Brothers and sisters, whenever disease
and fragility are shared, barriers fall and exclusion is overcome.
This image is also meaningful for us: when we are honest with ourselves, we realize
that we are all sick at heart, all sinners in need of the Father’s mercy. Then we stop
creating divisions on the basis of merit, social position or some other superficial
criterion; our interior barriers and prejudices likewise fall. In the end, we realize
once more that we are brothers and sisters. Even Naaman the Syrian, as the first
reading reminded us, for all his wealth and power, could only be healed by doing
something simple: wash in the river in which everyone else was bathing. First of all,
he had to remove his armour and his robes (cf. 2 Kings 5). We would do well to set
aside our own outer armour, our defensive barriers, and take a good bath of
humility, mindful that all of us are vulnerable within and in need of healing. All of us
are brothers and sisters. Let us remember this: the Christian faith always asks us to
walk alongside others, never to be solitary wayfarers. Faith always urges us to
move beyond ourselves and towards God and our brothers and sisters, never to

remain enclosed within ourselves. Faith invites us to acknowledge constantly that
we are in need of healing and forgiveness, and to share in the frailty of those who
are near to us, without feeling ourselves superior.
Brothers and sisters, let us reflect and see if in our lives, in our families, in the
places where we daily work and spend our time, we are capable of walking together
with others, listening to them, resisting the temptation to lock ourselves up in
self-absorption and to think only of our own needs. To walk together – to be
“synodal” – is also the vocation of the Church. Let us ask ourselves if we are really
communities truly open and inclusive of all; if we cooperate, as priests and laity, in
the service of the Gospel; and if we show ourselves welcoming, not only in words
but with concrete gestures, to those both near and far, and all those buffeted by the
ups and downs of life. Do we make them feel a part of the community? Or do we
exclude them? I am troubled when I see Christian communities that divide the
world into the good and the bad, saints and sinners: this makes them feel superior
to others and exclude so many people that God wants to embrace. Please, always
be inclusive: in the Church and in society, which is still marred by many forms of
inequality and marginalization. Always be inclusive. Today, the day in which Bishop
Scalabrini becomes a saint, I think of emigrants. The exclusion of emigrants is
scandalous. Actually, the exclusion of emigrants is criminal. They are dying right in
front of us, as the Mediterranean is the largest cemetery in the world. The exclusion
of emigrants is revolting, sinful and criminal. Not opening doors to those in need –
“No, we do not exclude them, we send them away” to camps, where they are
exploited and sold like slaves. Brothers and sisters, today let us call to mind these
emigrants, especially those who are dying. And those who are able to enter, do we
welcome them as brothers and sisters or do we exploit them? I simply pose the
The second thing is giving thanks. In the group of the ten lepers, there was only
one who, realizing that he was cured, turned back to praise God and to show
gratitude to Jesus. The other nine were healed, but then went their own way,
forgetting the one who had healed them. They forgot the graces given to them by
God. The Samaritan, on the other hand, makes the gift he received the first step of
a new journey: he returns to the one who healed him; he goes back to Jesus in
order to know him better; he enters into a relationship with the Lord. His grateful
attitude, then, is no mere act of courtesy, but the start of a journey of
thanksgiving: he falls at Jesus’ feet (cf. Lk 17:16) and worships him. He recognizes
that Jesus is the Lord, that Jesus is more important than the healing he received.
This is a great lesson also for us, brothers and sisters, who daily benefit from the
gifts of God, yet so often go our own way, failing to cultivate a living and real
relationship with him. This is a nasty spiritual disease: we take everything for
granted, including faith, including our relationship with God, to the point where we

become Christians no longer able to be amazed or to give thanks, lacking in
gratitude and incapable of seeing the wonders of the Lord. A woman I know used to
say, “They are rose-water Christians”. We end up thinking that all the gifts we
receive each day are natural and due to us. Gratitude, the ability to give thanks,
makes us appreciate instead the presence in our lives of the God who is love. And
to recognize the importance of others, overcoming the dissatisfaction and
indifference that disfigure our hearts. It is essential to know how to say “thank
you”. To thank the Lord each day and to thank one another. In our families, for the
little gifts we receive daily and so often do not even think about. In the places we
spend our days, for the many services which we enjoy and for all those people who
support us. In our Christian communities, for the love of God that we experience in
the closeness of our brothers and sisters who, often silently, pray, sacrifice, suffer
and journey with us. So please, let us not forget to say these key words: thank
The two saints canonized today remind us of the importance of walking together
and being able to give thanks. Bishop Scalabrini, who founded two Congregations –
one male and one female – for the care of emigrants, used to say that in the shared
journeying of emigrants we should see not only problems, but also a providential
plan. In his words: “Precisely because of the migrations imposed by persecutions,
the Church pressed beyond the confines of Jerusalem and of Israel, and became
‘catholic’; thanks to the migrations of our own days, the Church will be an
instrument of peace and of communion among peoples” (L’emigrazione degli operai
italiani, Ferrara, 1899). The emigration currently taking place in Europe is causing
great suffering and forcing us to open our hearts – that is the emigration of
Ukrainians who are fleeing from war. Let us not forget war-torn Ukraine. With great
vision, Scalabrini looked forward to a world and a Church without barriers, where no
one was a foreigner. For his part, the Salesian Brother Artemide Zatti – with his
bicycle – was a living example of gratitude. Cured of tuberculosis, he devoted his
entire life to serving others, caring for the infirm with tender love. He was said to
have carried on his shoulders the dead body of one of his patients. Filled with
gratitude for all that he had received, he wanted to say his own “thank you” by
taking upon himself the wounds of others.
Let us pray that these Saints, our brothers, may help us to walk together, without
walls of division; and to cultivate that nobility of soul, so pleasing to God, which is



Dear Salesian brothers and sisters, good morning and welcome!
I thank the Major Rector for his presentation, and I greet the members of the
General Council, the Salesian cardinals and bishops – there are many of them! I am
pleased to welcome the pilgrims from Boretto, the birthplace of Artemide Zatti, and
those from Argentina and the Philippines; I greet the members of the Salesian
family from numerous countries throughout the world, and especially the Salesian
coadjutors. And a special greeting to the person who received the grace of healing
through the intercession of the Blessed, whom I will have the joy of canonizing
tomorrow. I would like to recall him from four perspectives.
Firstly, as a migrant. The Salesians arrived in Argentina in 1875 and initially carried
out their apostolate, in Buenos Aires. In Buenos Aires they did not go to the most
important areas, they went to Boca, where there were communists, socialists,
where they eat priests alive! The Salesians went there, and other places, especially
in support of Italian emigrants. Artemide got to know the Salesians in Bahía Blanca,
where he and his family had come from Italy in 1897. Unfortunately, many
migrants lost the values of faith, all absorbed in work and the problems they
encountered. But the Zatti family, thanks be to God, were an exception. They never
failed to participate in the life of the Christian community, maintain cordial relations
with the priests, pray together at home, and partake of the sacraments. Artemide
grew up in an excellent Christian environment and, thanks to the guidance of Fr.
Carlo Cavalli, developed his choice of Salesian life.
A second aspect: his “kinship”: he was “kin to all the poor”, this was Zatti’s kinship.
The tuberculosis that afflicted him at the age of twenty seemed to crush all his
dreams, but thanks to the recovery obtained through the intercession of Mary Help
of Christians, Artemis dedicated his entire life to the sick, especially the poorest,
the abandoned and the discarded. The hospitals of San José and Sant’Isidro were a
precious and unique health resource for caring especially for the poor of Viedma
and the Rio Negro region: Zatti’s heroism made them places where God’s love
irradiated, where health care became an experience of salvation. In that patch of

Patagonian land, where our Blessed led his life, a page of the Gospel was rewritten:
the Good Samaritan found in him heart, hands and passion, above all for the little
ones, the poor, the sinners, the last. Thus, a hospital has become the “Inn of the
Father”, a sign of a Church that endeavours to be rich in gifts of humanity and
Grace, a dwelling place for the commandment of love of God and brother, a place of
health as a pledge of salvation. It is also true that this enters into the Salesian
vocation: the Salesians are the great educators of the heart, of love, of affections,
of social life; great educators of the heart.
The hospital and the houses of the poor, visited night and day getting round by
bicycle, were the frontiers of his mission. He lived full self-giving to God and the
consecration of all his efforts for the good of his neighbour. His intense work and
tireless availability for the needs of the poor were inspired by a profound union with
the Lord: constant prayer, prolonged Eucharistic adoration, praying the Rosary.
Artemide was a man of communion, who knew how to work with others: religious
sisters, doctors, nurses; and with his example and his counsel he formed people,
shaped consciences, converted hearts.
Thirdly, we see him as a Salesian coadjutor. Let us recall the beautiful witness he
bore in 1915 in Viedma, on the occasion of the inauguration of a monument in
memory of Father Evasio Garrone, a Salesian missionary considered a distinguished
benefactor by Artemis. On that occasion he made the following statement: “If I am
well, healthy and in a position to do some good to my sick neighbour, I owe it to
Father Garrone, doctor, who, seeing my health worsening day by day, as I was
suffering from tuberculosis with frequent haemoptysis, told me decisively that, if I
did not want to end up like many others, I should make a promise to Mary Help of
Christians to always remain at her side, helping her in the care of the sick, that he,
trusting in Mary, would cure me. I BELIEVED, because I knew by reputation that
Mary Help of Christians helped him in a visible way. PROMISED, because it was
always my desire to be of help in something to my neighbour. And, God having
listened to his servant, HEALED. I believed, I promised, I was healed. Three words
written there.
This recovered life was no longer his property: he felt that it was all for the poor.
The three verbs “believed, promised, healed” express the blessing and consolation
that touched Artemide’s life. He lived this mission in communion with his Salesian
confreres: he was the first to be present at community events, and he inspired the
fraternity with his joy and good nature.
The fourth and final trait I would like to highlight: he is an intercessor for vocations.
And I have experienced this. I will tell you about a personal experience. When I was
provincial of the Jesuits of Argentina, I knew the story of Artemide Zatti, read his
biography and entrusted to him the request to the Lord for holy vocations to the lay

consecrated life for the Society of Jesus. Since we began to pray through his
intercession, the number of young coadjutors increased significantly; and they were
persevering and very committed. And so I bore witness to this grace we received.



Dear brothers, good morning and welcome!
I am pleased to meet you, on the occasion of your General Chapter. I thank the
Superior General — poor thing, taken from the desert and brought here to Rome! —
for his introduction, and I wish serene and fruitful work to him and the new Council.
And let us thank the Superior and the Counsellors who have concluded their
You are a religious family dedicated to evangelization, and you are gathered to
discern together the future of your mission in the Church and in the world. You
have chosen, for this Chapter, a demanding theme, very similar to what has been
chosen for the Church’s next Jubilee: “Pilgrims of Hope in Communion ”. It is a
theme that sums up your identity on the streets of the world, to which, as disciples
of Jesus and followers of your founder Saint Eugène de Mazenod, you are called to
bring the Gospel of hope, joy and peace. It is a world that, on the one hand seems
to have reached seemingly unreachable goals, yet on the other is still enslaved by
selfishness and full of contradictions and divisions. The cry of the earth and that of
the poor, wars and conflicts that shed blood on human history, the distressing
situation of millions of migrants and refugees, an economy that makes the rich ever
richer and the poor ever poorer, are some aspects of a scenario where only the
Gospel can keep the light of hope burning.
You have chosen to be pilgrims, to rediscover and live your condition as wayfarers
in this world, beside the men and women, the poor and the least of the earth, to
whom the Lord sends you to announce his Kingdom. Your founder too was a
wayfarer, at the origins of your religious family, when he would go walking with his
first companions in the villages of his native Provence, preaching the popular
missions and restoring to the faith the poor who had turned away from it, and that
even the ministers of the Church had abandoned. It is a tragedy when the ministers
of the Church abandon the poor.

Pilgrims and wayfarers, always ready to set out, like Jesus with his disciples in the
Gospel. As a missionary Congregation, you are at the service of the Church in 70
countries throughout the world. To this Church, which the Founder taught you to
love as a mother, you offer your missionary zeal and your life, participating in her
exodus towards the peripheries of the world beloved by God, and living a charism
that leads you towards the furthest, the poorest, those whom no one reaches.
Walking this road with love and fidelity, you, dear brothers, render a great service
to the Church.
You have heard the call to rediscover your identity as priests and brothers united by
the bonds of religious consecration. Pilgrims of hope, you walk with the holy people
of God, living in fidelity your missionary vocation, together with laypersons and
young people who share in the Church the charism of your holy Founder, and who
wish to play an active part in your mission. Saint Eugène taught you to look at the
world with the eyes of the crucified Saviour, this world for whose salvation Christ
died on the cross.
You have already dedicated one of your preceding General Chapters to the theme of
hope, when you heard a particular call to be witnesses to this virtue in a world that
seems to have lost it, and that seeks elsewhere the source of its happiness. Being
missionaries of hope means knowing how to read the signs of its hidden presence in
the daily life of the people. Learning to recognize hope among the poor to whom
you have been sent, who often succeed in finding it amid the most difficult
situations. Letting yourselves be evangelized by the poor you evangelize: they
teach you the way of hope, for the Church and for the world.
In addition, you wish to be witnesses of hope in communion. Communion today is a
challenge on which the future of our world, the Church and consecrated life may
depend. To be missionaries of communion, it is necessary first of all to live it among
ourselves, in our communities and in mutual relations, and then to cultivate it with
everyone, without exception. You frequently referred, during your Chapter, to the
ecclesial pathway of this time, which is rediscovering the beauty and the
importance of “walking together”. I urge you to be promoters of communion
through expressions of solidarity, closeness, synodality and fraternity with all. May
the Good Samaritan of the Gospel be an example and a stimulus to make you close
to every person, with the love and tenderness that impelled him to take care of the
robbed and wounded man (cf. Lk 10:29-37). To make yourself a neighbour is a
daily job, because selfishness pulls you in, pulls you down; to make yourself
neighbour is to go out.
In this Chapter, you have also often evoked your commitment to the common
home, seeking to translate it into concrete decisions and actions. I encourage you
to continue to work in this direction. Our mother earth nourishes us without asking
for anything in exchange; it is up to us to understand that she cannot continue to
do so if we do not also take care of her. They are all aspects of that conversion to
which the Lord calls us continually. Returning to the common Father, returning to
the source, returning to the first love that prompted you to leave everything in
order to follow Jesus: this is the soul of consecration and mission!
May your Founder, the charism he transmitted to you, and his missionary vision be
and remain points of reference for your life and your work; to stay rooted in your
missionary vocation, above all by living the testament of your Founder, in mutual
love among yourselves and in zeal for the salvation of souls. It is the heart of your
mission and the secret of your life, and this is why the Church still needs you. In
the immense field of mission that is the entire world, may Jesus always be your
model, as he was for Saint Eugène. Before the crucified Saviour, he decided one day
to offer his own life so that everyone, especially the poor, might be able to
experience the same love of God that had restored him to the path of faith.
This year you celebrated the memorial of a special grace that Saint Eugène received
two centuries ago, before the statue of Our Lady Immaculate in the church of the
mission in Aix-en-Provence. This renews to you the invitation to take Mary as your
travelling companion, so that she may always accompany you on your pilgrimage.
Mary the pilgrim, Mary journeying, Mary who arose in haste to go and serve. After
saying her “yes” to God through the archangel Gabriel, she departed in haste to go
to her cousin Elizabeth, to share the gift and to place herself at her service. In this
too, may Mary be an example to you, for your life and for your mission.
Dear brothers, I wish you a good conclusion to your Chapter, and I accompany you
with prayer. From the heart, I bless all of you and your confrères, especially those
who are sick and frail, and those who are in difficulty at this time. And you too,
please, pray for me. Thank you!