8 December 2021 | Angelus


After the Angelus, the Holy Father continued:
Dear brothers and sisters, I returned from my journey to Cyprus and Greece two
days ago. I thank the Lord for this pilgrimage; I thank all of you for the prayers
that accompanied me, and the populations of those two dear countries, along
with their civil and religious leaders, for the affection and kindness with which
they welcomed me. To all of you, I say again: thank you!
Cyprus is a pearl in the Mediterranean, a pearl of rare beauty, which, however,
bears the wound of barbed wire, the suffering due to a wall that divides her. In
Cyprus I felt at home; I found brothers and sisters in everyone. I carry in my
heart every encounter, in particular the Mass in the stadium of Nicosia. I was
moved by the dear Orthodox Brother Chrysostomos, when he spoke to me about
the Mother Church : as Christians we follow different paths, but we are children
of Jesus’ Church, who is a Mother, and accompanies and protects us and keeps
us going, all as brothers and sisters. My hope for Cyprus is that it may always be
a workshop of fraternity, where encounter prevails over confrontation, where we
welcome our brother and sister, especially when they are poor, discarded,
migrants. I repeat that, faced with history, before the faces of those who
emigrate, we cannot remain silent, we cannot turn away.
In Cyprus, as in Lesvos, I was able to look into the eyes of this suffering: please,
let us look into the eyes of the discarded people we meet, let us be provoked by
the faces of children, the children of desperate migrants. Let us allow ourselves
to be moved by their suffering in order to react to our indifference; let us look at
their faces, to awaken us from the slumber of habit!
Then I think with gratitude of Greece. There too I received a fraternal welcome.
In Athens I felt immersed in the greatness of history, in the memory of Europe :
humanism, democracy, wisdom, faith. There too I experienced the mystique of
wholeness: in the meeting with my brother Bishops and the Catholic community,
in the festive Mass celebrated on the Lord’s Day, and then with the young people
who had come from so many places, some from very far away, to live and share
the joy of the Gospel. And again, I experienced the gift of embracing the dear
Orthodox Archbishop Ieronymos: first he welcomed me into his home and the
next day he came to visit me. I cherish this fraternity in my heart. I entrust to
the Holy Mother of God the many seeds of encounter and hope that the Lord
scattered on this pilgrimage. I ask you to continue to pray so that they may
sprout in patience and blossom in trust. […]