Pope Tells What the "Defeated" Need

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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 15, 2004 (Zenit.org).- Those who feel "defeated by life" need the material help and spiritual consolation that only those who live in profound dialogue with Christ can give, says John Paul II.

The Pope gave this advice today when receiving the participants in the general chapter of the Congregation of St. Elizabeth. Participants in the general chapter elected Mother Samuela Werbinska, 45, as their new general superior.

The congregation was founded in 1842, in what is now the Polish city of Nysa, to respond to the needs of the most indigent. The Sisters of St. Elizabeth also offer education to children. The congregation has 1,800 religious in Europe, Brazil and Israel.

"While cultivating an intense prayer life and listening to God," the Pope explained in his address, "it will be easier for you to ensure not only material help but also spiritual consolation to your brothers and sisters in need."

"To respond with creative fidelity to the challenges of modern society," the Holy Father said, "we must start again from Christ and bear witness, in a simple and concrete way, to his merciful love for everyone, especially those on the margins of society, who are defeated by life."