Rome (Italy). March 13, 2021 marks the 8th anniversary of the election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a Jesuit of Argentine nationality, as the 265th Successor of Peter.

It was March 13, 2013 when, looking out over the central Loggia of the Vatican Basilica, he addressed his first greeting to the people present in St. Peter’s Square and in connection from all over the world, “And now, let’s begin this journey: Bishop and people. … A journey of fraternity, of love, of trust between us. We always pray for ourselves, for each other. Let us pray for the whole world, for there to be a great fraternity”.

The first words of his Pontificate, “journey”, “fraternity”, “prayer” immediately reveal a synodal style made up of encounters, expressions, and gestures of closeness, with which Pope Francis shares the journey of the people and promotes human fraternity.

“Pray for me”, this is how Pope Francis often loves to conclude his speeches, words that reveal a concrete need of the Pontiff to feel the support of his people for the grace of his ministry.

The commitment to pray for the Pope is alive in the tradition of the Salesian Family. In fact, Don Bosco always showed a filial love for the Holy Father and in a letter to Pope Pius IX, he wrote: “I, my boys, my clerics and priests pray every day to God to give your Holiness health and grace and keep you for a long time for the good of the church”. (February 1859)

The Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, grateful for the gift of the life and ministry of Pope Francis to the Church and to the whole world, assures him of their perennial prayer, so that he may continue to be a tireless promoter of the unity of the Church and peoples, in truth and in love.


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