Francis to Arabic-Speaking Pilgrims: Faith Can Make World More Just

Encourages Them to Be Example of God's Mercy

Vatican City, (Zenit.org) | 1015 hits

Pope Francis today encouraged Arabic-speaking faithful, especially from Iraq, Jordan and Egypt, to always be united with Christ, adding that faith can make the world more just and beautiful.

The Holy Father said this at the end of today's general audience, during his greetings to pilgrims of various language groups. The Wednesday general audiences began again today after a summer break. As has been his custom, Francis greets the language groups in Italian or Spanish, and a speaker translated his words.

For the Arabic-speakers, Francis had a message of encouragement.

"Be always united with Christ, building his Kingdom with fraternity, sharing and merciful works," he said.

"Faith is a potent force capable of making the world a more just and beautiful place," he added. "Be an example of God's mercy and demonstrate to the world that trials and tribulations, difficulties, violence and evil can never defeat he who has vanquished death: Jesus Christ."

Last week, Francis was visited by Jordan's king and queen. A Vatican statement noted that King Abdullah was commended for his commitment in the field of interreligious dialogue, including a conference that he called in Amman focused on the challenges Christians face in the Middle East. The conference ended today.

Francis and other Vatican officials have also continued to call for an end to the violence in Egypt. The prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches, Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, told Vatican Radio last week that "the destruction of Christian churches is unacceptable." In a series of attacks in mid-August, more than 50 churches and other Church centers were attacked and burned in Egypt.