Pope encourages Azerbaijan Catholics at Sunday Angelus

Pope Francis celebrates Holy Mass at the Church of the Immaculate Conception with the small Catholic community of Azerbaijan, 2 Oct 2016. - RV

Pope Francis celebrates Holy Mass at the Church of the Immaculate Conception with the small Catholic community of Azerbaijan, 2 Oct 2016. – RV

02/10/2016 10:03
(Vatican Radio) After celebrating Mass in Baku’s Church of the Immaculate Conception, the city’s Salesian centre, Pope Francis encouraged Azerbaijan’s small Catholic community in their witness of the faith, before leading the faithful in the Angelus prayer.Sunday’s Mass and Angelus are the central event of the Pope’s 10-hour pastoral visit to the Caucasus nation.

The Holy Father arrived in Azerbaijan Sunday morning following his two-day trip to Georgia.

 

Below, see the official English language translation of Pope Francis’ prepared remarks for the Angelus:

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

 

In this Eucharistic celebration I have given thanks to God with you, and also for you:  here the faith, after the years of persecution, has accomplished wonders.  I wish to recall the many courageous Christians who trusted in the Lord and were faithful in the face of adversity.  As did Saint John Paul II, I offer you the words of the Apostle Peter: “Honour to you who believe” (1 Pt2:7; Homily, Baku, 23 May 2002).

Our thoughts turn now to the Virgin Mary, who is venerated in this country not only by Christians.  To her we address the words of the Angel Gabriel who brought her the good news of salvation, prepared for humanity by God.

In the light that radiates from the maternal gaze of Mary, I offer a warm greeting to you, dear faithful of Azerbaijan, as I encourage each of you to witness joyfully to faith, hope and love, united among yourselves and with your Pastors.  I greet and thank in a particular way the Salesian family, who take such good care of you and who promote various good works, and the Missionary Sisters of Charity: continue with enthusiasm your work in the service of all!

Let us entrust these intentions to the intercession of the Most Holy Mother of God and let us invoke her protection upon your families, the sick and the elderly, and upon all those who suffer in body or spirit.

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