pilgrims to go forward on their journey of faith
Pope Francis on Saturday
addressed some 13,000 pilgrims from the Italian
dioceses of Bologna and Cesena and recalled his
visit to their communities which took place last
year on October 1st.
By Linda Bordoni
Pope Francis recalled his visit to the
city of Cesena for the commemoration of the
third centenary of the birth of Pope Pius
VI, and with a thought also for Pius VII.
He said the memory of these two Bishops of
Rome, both of whom were born in Cesena,
provided a good opportunity to reflect on
the path of evangelization undertaken and on
new missionary goals to look ahead to.
'Heirs of Popes Pius VI and VII'
“Heirs of these and other important figures
of pastors and evangelizers, you are called
to continue on this same path, committing
yourselves generously to proclaim the Gospel
to your fellow citizens and witnessing it
with works, which do not necessarily have to
be great” he said.
Christians, he explained, are leaven of
love, of fraternity, of hope with many small
daily gestures, and he encouraged them to
love small, everyday gestures “that may be
as small as the yeast but they do so much
He said the occasion for the visit to
Bologna was offered by the conclusion of the
Diocesan Eucharistic Congress.
“May the fervor aroused by that ecclesial
event, which gathered many people around the
Eucharist, be prolonged in time, not fade
away but grow and bear fruit, leaving an
indelible mark on the path of faith of your
Christian community” he said.
And quoting from his recent Apostolic
Exhortation “Gaudete et Exsultate” the Pope
said that “Sharing the word and celebrating
the Eucharist together fosters fraternity
and makes us a holy and missionary
The Eucharist, he said, makes the Church,
brings it together and unites it in a bond
of love and hope.
The Pope concluded his address encouraging
the men and women of our time to open their
hearts to an encounter with Jesus Christ.
This mission, he said, is responsibility and
joy, a heritage of salvation and a gift to
share: “It requires generous availability,
self-denial and confident abandonment to the
divine will. It is a question of making a
journey of holiness in order to respond
courageously to the call of Jesus, each
according to his own particular charism”.