Pope Francis remembers the importance of his trip to Morocco during General Audience

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In his weekly General Audience, Pope Francis reflected on his recent trip to Morocco between March 30 and 31.

He expressed his thanks to King Mohammed VI and the authorities for warmly welcoming him there. The pope most of all thanked God for allowing him to engage in “dialogue and encounter” as a “Servant of hope” with the Muslim community there.

Pope Francis said in order to serve hope one must build bridges between cultures. He stressed how him and the king reiterated the role religions have in defending human dignity, bringing peace and caring for creation.

The pope also praised the Church's work in Morocco in welcoming migrants; and to remember the words of Christ “When I was a stranger you welcomed me”.

Finally he concluded by stressing that God's mercy is vital, as illustrated in the parable of the prodigal son. The pope said only those who are reborn and live in God's embrace can be “servants of hope for our world.”


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Last Saturday and Sunday I completed an Apostolic Journey to Morocco, and I thanked His Majesty King Mohammed VI and the other authorities, for their warm welcome.

Above all I thank the Lord for allowing me to take yet another step along the road of dialogue and encounter with our Muslim brothers and sisters, as a “Servant of hope” in today’s world.

To serve hope in our day is to build bridges between cultures, and it was a joy and honor for me to be able to do this in the noble Kingdom of Morocco, meeting both its people and its political leaders.

King Mohammed and I reiterated the essential role religions have in defending human dignity, promoting peace and justice, and in caring for creation, our common home.

The question of migration was of particular importance and I was able to thank the Church in Morocco for its commitment towards migrants, and to encourage those who give generous service in realizing the words of Christ: “When I was a stranger you welcomed me” (Mt 25:35).

After greeting priests, religious, consecrated men and women and the Ecumenical Council of Churches, thousands gathered for the Sunday Mass, where the parable of the prodigal son spoke to us of the beauty of God’s plan of forgiveness and reconciliation.

Indeed, knowing our need of God’s mercy is vital, for only those who have been reborn and live in the Father’s embrace, can be servants of hope for our world.

I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially those from England, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, China, the Philippines and the United States of America. May the Lenten journey bring us to Easter with hearts purified and renewed by the grace of the Holy Spirit. Upon you and your families I invoke joy and peace in Christ our Redeemer!

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