Before thousands of pilgrims on Sunday, Pope Francis celebrated the Feast of the Ascension of Jesus into heaven at the Regina Coeli prayer.
'Jesus gives us the immense task of evangelizing the world. The Ascension of Jesus into heaven, thus, constitutes the end of the mission the Son has received from the Father and the beginning of the continuation of this mission from the Church.â?
Though the task is large, he recalled the Lord's words, who assures that 'I am with you until the end of the world.â?
'His presence brings strength in persecutions, comfort in tribulations, support in the difficult situations which meet the mission and proclamation of the Gospel. The Ascension reminds us of this assistance of Jesus and his Spirit, that gives faith and security to our testimony in the world. He reveals to us why the Church exists: She exists to proclaim the Gospel, only for that!â?
At the end of the prayer, he expressed his condolences to Pope Tawadros II regarding the attack that killed at least 28 Coptic Christians, as well as the Manchester attacks.
'I wish to again express my closeness to my dear brother, Pope Tawadros II, and the whole nation of Egypt. May welcome these courageous witnesses, these martyrs, in his peace and convert the hearts of the terrorists. Let us pray also for the victims of the horrific attack on Manchester last Monday, where many young lives were cruelly taken.â?
Pope Francis concluded his message with thanking the people of Genoa, for their warm welcome during his visit.