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On Feast of Mary’s Assumption, Pope Greets Polish Pilgrims Gathered in Czestochowa

Francis Appeals to All Those Gathered at Foot of the Black Madonna, to Pray for the Whole Church

On the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Pope Francis gave a special greeting to Polish pilgrims who gathered today in Czestochowa.

“Today, in Czestochowa, Poland,” Francis recalled, “many pilgrims have gathered to celebrate the Virgin’s Assumption.”

Noting they also are remembering the centenary of the restoration of diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Poland, the Holy Father sent his greetings “to all those gathered at the foot of the Black Madonna,” urging them “to pray for the whole Church.”

“I also greet the Poles present here!” he said.

Below is a translation of Pope Francis’ address after the recitation of the Angelus prayer today at noon to the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary:

* * *

After the Angelus:

Dear brothers and sisters,

I express my closeness to the populations of several South Asian countries, badly affected by the monsoons and severe rains. I pray for the victims and displaced, for all the homeless families. May the Lord give strength to them and to those who help them.

Today, in Czestochowa, Poland, many pilgrims have gathered to celebrate the Virgin’s Assumption and to remember the centenary of the restoration of diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Poland. I send my greetings to all those gathered at the foot of the Black Madonna and I urge them to pray for the whole Church. I also greet the Poles present here!

I address a cordial greeting to you, Italian pilgrims and those from various countries. In particular, I greet the Missionary Family Donum Dei , the Union Seglar de San Antonio Maria Claret, the Venezuelan group “Festeros de San Vicente ” who came by bicycle from Valencia, and the young people of a school camp in Novoli.

And now I ask you to accompany this gesture with prayer: I will bless a large number of rosaries for our brothers and sisters in Syria. Out of the initiative of [pontifical foundation] “Aid to the Church in Need,” about 6000 rosaries were made, by the Carmelite Sisters in Bethlehem. Today, on this great feast of Mary, I will bless them, and then they will be distributed to the Catholic communities in Syria as a sign of my closeness, especially to families who have lost someone through war. Prayer done with faith is powerful! Let’s continue to pray the Rosary for peace in the Middle East and throughout the whole world.

I will give a blessing, but let’s pray first to the Hail Mary.

[Original text: Italian]  [ZENIT’s working translation by Deborah Castellano Lubov]

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