AUDIO-MESSAGE OF POPE FRANCIS
TO THE ITALIAN UNION OF BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED
My affectionate greeting to you all. I know that you are gathered in Tirrenia for a little while, and that some of you would have liked to come to Rome. Thanks to modern technology, I can come myself to you! Thank you for your esteem and affection and especially for your prayers.
The Gospel tells us that Jesus paid special attention to the blind. He healed many of them, along with many other sick people. But the healing of a visually impaired person has a particular symbolic meaning; it represents the gift of faith. And it is a sign that pertains to all of us, because we all need the light of faith to walk on the path of life. Thus Baptism, the first sacrament of the faith, of old was also called “illumination”.
I ask the Lord to renew in each one of you the gift of faith, that your spirit may be for us ever the light of God, the light of love, which gives meaning to your life, illuminates it, gives us hope, and makes us good and available to our brothers.
I also wish all the best to your association, the Italian Union of the Blind and Visually Impaired. Spread always the culture of encounter, solidarity, acceptance of people with disabilities, not only by asking for just social welfare, but also by fostering their active participation in the life of society.
I entrust you all to the protection of Mary Most Holy, our Mother. I ask you to pray for me and for my service to the Church, and I bless you with all my heart, together with your loved ones.
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