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Pope Francis in Cyprus: Without dialogue we remain blind


Pope Francis arrived at GSP stadium in Nicosia, Cyprus to celebrate Mass in memory of St. Francis Xavier on his feast day. 

Various flags were present in the crowd, most notably many groups waved the flag of Lebanon, where a large number of migrants living in Cyprus are originally from. (08:55)

The Pope celebrated the Mass along with the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the leader of Christians practicing in the Latin rite in Cyprus.

ABP. PIERBATTISTA PIZZABALLA
"Since the beginning of Christianity, Cyprus has been a place of creativity for the Gospel, of evangelization, of inculturation, a place of encounter, dialogue, and acceptance of the Good News, synonymous with overcoming ethnic, cultural, and religious boundaries."

In his homily, Pope Francis related the divisions between people to the blindness of those who ask Jesus for healing in the Gospel. 

POPE FRANCIS
"If we remain divided, if each person thinks only of himself or herself, or of his or her group, if we refuse to stick together, if we do not dialogue and walk together, we will never be completely healed of our blindness."

At the end of the Mass, the Pope addressed the crowd and thanked them for living with hope for the future. 

POPE FRANCIS
"Here in Cyprus, I feel something of that atmosphere typical of the Holy Land, where antiquity and the variety of Christian traditions enrich every pilgrim. This is good for me, and it is also encouraging to meet communities of believers who live in the present with hope and openness to the future, and who share this greater vision with those most in need."

He specifically referenced the migrants who came to Cyprus in serach of a better life. 

Pope Francis then venerated an icon of Our Lady given to him by the Orthodox Archbishop of Cyprus, Chrysostomos II, before proceeding out. 

The Pope will end his time in Cyprus by meeting with a group of migrants at the church of the Holy Cross in Nicosia.

JM