(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis sent a video message on Wednesday to participants in the 100th Katholikentag, or Catholic Day, taking place in Leipzig, Germany, from May 25th to 29th. First organised in 1848, this popular festival brings together Catholics, as well as people of other religious traditions, in dialogue with political, cultural and business leaders.
Speaking in German, a language he learnt during his student days, Pope Francis greeted participants and praised the good relations between Christians of different denominations in Germany.
Noting the title of this 100th Katholikentag, ‘Ecce homo’, or ‘Behold, the man’, the Pope said this theme shows us that it’s not exterior success that counts in life, but rather the ability to stop, to look and to be attentive to the needs of others.
Peace with Creation
Every person, the Pope said, wishes to live in peace with others, but this will only happen if we foster peace in our own hearts. These days, he said, so many people are in a constant hurry and tend to trample on everything around them, including our own environment. Instead, he said, we must take time to restore harmony with the world, with creation and also with our Creator.
A voice for the oppressed
Through contemplation and prayer, the Pope said, we can draw closer to God and see that as he shows love and mercy to us, so we are called to be merciful to each other. So often, he noted, we see people ill-treated and deprived of their dignity – the elderly, the sick, the unemployed and the refugees. Pope Francis concluded his message with a blessing for participants, urging them to find more time in their lives to give a voice to the poor and the oppressed.