(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis received managers, technical staff and personnel of the Italian State Railway on Saturday, in a special audience. Some 7 thousand employees of the Ferrovie dello stato packed the Paul VI audience Hall for the noon appointment.
In remarks prepared for the occasion, Pope Francis praised the organization and its employees for their historical commitment to works of solidarity and compassion, including their support for the recently concluded renovations of the Caritas center near Rome’s central station, which the Holy Father visited earlier this week in connection with the Jubilee Year of Mercy.
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“May the Year of Mercy, which opened only a few days ago,” said Pope Francis, “impress upon our mind and our heart that mercy is the first and most real medicine for man, of which everyone has urgent need.”
In his remarks, the Holy Father also praised the commitment of the Railway workers for the difficult and often dangerous work they do in building and maintaining the network. “Not a few workers have also lost their lives in this labor,” he recalled. “We remember them all – and let us make it so that – so far as it is in our power – such things do not happen anymore.”