ADDRESS OF PAUL VI
TO THE SICK FROM SOUTH AFRICA
Thursday, 21 September 1972
Pilgrims to Lourdes! We are happy to welcome you and greet you with the words of the Apostle Peter: “Peace to you all who are in Christ” (1 Petr. 5, 14). Your visit gives us the occasion to express to you our loving and prayerful concern.
But we are even more pleased to have the opportunity to proclaim to you a message which you have heard before, but which always brings joy and consolation, especially to those who suffer. It is simply this: Jesus Christ loves you. He loves you now; he loves you at every moment; he loves you even when you think he seems to be far away. Let this love dwell and grow in you, for in this way you are friends of Jesus.
You are also associated with Christ in the building up of his Church, because through the power of your faith and your love you help to make the Church a people who love their Lord in every circumstance of life. Your patience, your courage, your faith transform your suffering. You become imitators of Jesus Christ, who suffered so much for our salvation. And through your good example you help those around you to face the contradictions of their lives with greater tranquillity and confidence in God.
Suffering is a great mystery, but through the grace of Jesus Christ it becomes a sure path to eternal life.
May the Lord give you his grace always, and may you become more and more holy through his presence in you.
With our Apostolic Blessing.
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