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You, who brought Christ so close to your age, help us to bring Christ close to our age, to our difficult and critical times. Help us! These times are waiting for Christ with great anxiety, although many men of our age are not aware of it. We are approaching the year A.D. 2000. Will they not be times that will prepare us for a rebirth of Christ, for a new Coming? Every day, we express in the eucharistic prayer our expectation, addressed to him alone, our Redeemer and Saviour, to him who is the fulfilment of the history of man and of the world.

Help us, St Francis of Assisi, to bring Christ closer to the Church and to the world of today.

You, who bore in your heart the vicissitudes of your contemporaries, help us, with our heart close to the Redeemer's heart, to embrace the events of the men of our time. The difficult social, economic and political problems, the problems of culture and contemporary civilization, all the sufferings of the man of today, his doubts, his denials his disorders, his tensions, his complexes, his worries... Help us to express all this in the simple and fruitful language of the Gospel. Hell us to solve everything in an evangelical key, in order that Christ himself may be "the Way—the Truth—the Life" for modern man.

This is asked of you, holy son of the Church, son of the Italian land, by Pope John Paul II, son of the Polish land. And he hopes that you will not refuse him it, that you will help him. You have always been kind and you have always hastened to bring help to all those who appealed to you.


(Visit to the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi, November 5, 1978)


© Copyright 1978 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana


Copyright © Dicastero per la Comunicazione - Libreria Editrice Vaticana