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Rome Reports

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Pope in Audience: "The future of Asia will not be of those who build weapons”

Due to the freezing temperatures, Pope Francis met with thousands of pilgrims from all over the world in the Paul VI Audience Hall. These little ones were the first to greet him.

As many took pictures of him, there were some in the crowd who would not let go of his hand.

The pope recalled the best moments of the trip to Myanmar and Bangladesh and these pilgrims had already come to thank him.

As the first pope to travel to Myanmar, he highlighted his meeting with young people and with representatives of different religions.


"In the faces of these young people, full of joy, I saw the future of Asia: a future not of those who build weapons, but of those who sow fraternity."

He mentioned the Rohingya and he thanked the people of Bangladesh for their efforts to help this Muslim minority.


"I was very touched by the meeting with the Rohingya refugees. I have asked them to forgive us for our mistakes and for our silence. I have asked the international community to help them and help all groups who are persecuted in the world."

He recalled how much the attitude of the nuns struck him when he went to visit the house of St. Teresa of Calcutta in Dhaka.


"The nuns, every day, live out the prayer of adoration and service to poor and suffering Christ. I never, never saw the smile disappear from their lips. Nuns who pray so much, who serve those suffering and continuously smile. It's a beautiful testimony."

Pope Francis explained that being surrounded by people from many religions on this trip has helped him realize the importance of having an open heart, so that the culture of the encounter is always possible.

He encouraged the pilgrims to prepare for Friday, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, so each person can receive Jesus.

"Long live the pope!"