Meeting the members of the Don Gnocchi Foundation, Francis says that "The suffering of our brothers demands to be shared, demands for attitudes and initiatives of compassion. It is a matter of “suffering with”, pitying like Jesus who, out of love for man, became man Himself in order to be able to share fully, in a very real way ".
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "A society that is not able to welcome, protect and give hope to suffering is a society that has lost its piety and that has lost its sense of humanity". It is the warning expressed today by Pope Francis, inspired by the meeting with 4,500 managers, doctors and operators, volunteers and friends of the Don Carlo Gnocchi Foundation Centers.
"Blessed Don Carlo Gnocchi, an apostle of charity, served Christ heroically in children, young people, the poor and the suffering, from the beginning of his priestly ministry, as a passionate educator. Then, as a military chaplain, he experienced the cruelties of the Second World War ". "Many years later, you carry forth his legacy and, like a precious talent, you are multiplying it with the same apostolic zeal and fidelity to the Gospel".
"Inspired by the care, delicacy and sensitivity of Blessed Carlo Gnocchi as a priest, you are called to combine social and health service with evangelizing action in the concrete aspects of daily life". "The meaning and value of the health profession, and of every service rendered to our ailing brothers, are fully manifested in the ability to combine competence and compassion, both together. Competence is the fruit of your preparation, experience and the updating of your skills; and all this is supported by a strong motivation to serve your suffering neighbour, a motivation which in the Christian is animated by the charity of Christ. Competence is the quality that makes the witness of the lay faithful credible in the different environments of society; competence also guarantees you when you go against the tide with respect to the dominant culture: in your case, when you devote time and resources to fragile life, even if to someone it may seem useless or even unworthy of being lived”.
"Competence and compassion. The suffering of our brothers demands to be shared, demands for attitudes and initiatives of compassion. It is a matter of “suffering with”, pitying like Jesus who, out of love for man, became man Himself in order to be able to share fully, in a very real way, in flesh and blood, as is shown to us in His Passion. A society that is not able to welcome, protect and give hope to suffering is a society that has lost its piety and that has lost its sense of humanity. The vast network of centres and services that you have set up in Italy and in other countries is a good model because it seeks to combine assistance, hospitality and evangelical charity. In a social context that favours efficiency over solidarity, your structures are instead houses of hope, whose purpose is the protection, appreciation and true benefit of the sick, the handicapped and the elderly”.
"May the human and Christian witness of Blessed Don Carlo Gnocchi, characterized by love for the weakest, always guide your choices and your activities. May the Lord grant you everywhere to be messengers of His mercy and consolation, messengers of His tenderness".