(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis met on Monday with religious and civil authorities who organised the recently concluded jubilee year of mercy. They included members of the Pontifical Council for New Evangelisation, headed by Archbishop Rino Fisichella, but also police chiefs and Italian officials in charge of local and regional security.
Pope Francis spoke of the origin of his idea for a year of mercy, describing it as “a simple intuition” which the Lord transformed into a celebration of faith and joy for Christian communities throughout the world.
The opening of doors of mercy in so many cathedrals and shrines, he went on, enabled people to freely experience the love of God in their lives. The fruits of this extraordinary event must now become part of our daily living, he said, so that mercy truly becomes a permanent lifestyle for all Christians.
The Pope went on to thank all those individuals and organisations who worked hard to guarantee the safety and smooth running of the jubilee, which officially concluded on November 20th, the last Sunday of the liturgical year.
In particular he mentioned Italy’s Home Affairs minister, the regional Lazio authorities and local chiefs of police who worked together with the Swiss Guards, Vatican police and other offices of the Holy See to ensure a positive experience for the millions of pilgrims who travelled to Rome over the past year.
Last, but not least, he thanked members of the Pontifical Council for New Evangelisation and all the volunteers from different parts of the world who worked so hard to transform this event into a real moment of grace. May your efforts, he concluded, be rewarded by the experience of mercy which the Lord will not fail to grant you.