Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Our catechesis today focuses on Saint Lawrence of Brindisi, a Capuchin friar of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries known for his vigorous labour for the salvation of souls, his vast learning and his eloquent preaching. Coming of age at a time when many of the articles of the faith were being called into question, Saint Lawrence applied his immense talents to making clear the biblical and patristic foundations of the teachings of the Church. This son of the Franciscan tradition also applied himself heroically to efforts towards peace and reconciliation between the nations and peoples of Europe. His witness serves as an excellent example for our age, so fraught with violence, ethical relativism and religious indifference. The new evangelization needs well-prepared, zealous and courageous apostles like Saint Lawrence so that the light and beauty of the Gospel may reach into the depths of every human heart. Dear friends, in order to achieve such a lofty vocation, Saint Lawrence of Brindisi would have us grow close to our Lord Jesus Christ by reading the Sacred Scriptures and by cultivating daily the relationship of love with him in personal prayer, because every good action of ours has its beginning and its end in him.
I am pleased to greet the members of the Catenian Association from England, the students of the combined choir of Saint Anne and Saint Ibs Schools, and the many university students present here today. Upon all the English-speaking visitors, especially the pilgrims from England, Ireland, Denmark, Indonesia, the Philippines and the United States, I invoke God’s abundant blessings.