By Deborah Castellano Lubov

“May the Virgin Mary bless them and support the work of reconstruction: may it be a joint work, to the praise and glory of God.”

Pope Francis stressed this during his General Audience, April 17, 2019, this Holy Week, just two days after the devastating fire at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris.

Francis said in his remarks to French-speaking pilgrims that he took the opportunity to express to the diocesan community of Paris, to all Parisians and
to the whole French people, his “great affection” and “closeness” after the fire in the Cathedral of Notre-Dame.

“Dear brothers and sisters, I was very distressed and I feel so close to all of you,” he said, noting that: “Gratitude, from the whole Church, goes to those who have done their utmost, even risking their lives, to save the Cathedral.”

“May the Virgin Mary bless them and support the work of reconstruction: may it be a joint work, to the praise and glory of God.”

Here is the Vatican-provided English-language summary of the Pope’s address at the General Audience this morning:

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Speaker:
Dear Brothers and Sisters: In these weeks we are reflecting on the “Our Father”; now, on this eve of the Easter Triduum, let us consider three prayers that Jesus makes to the Father as he approaches his death and resurrection. The first takes place after the Last Supper: “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you” (Jn 17:1). Second, full of anguish in the
garden of Gethsemane, our Lord entrusts himself to God with the tender word “Abba, Father” (Mk 14:36). Third, at the height of his torment on the cross, Jesus prays for us: “Father forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Lk 23:34). As we pray the “Our Father” in the coming days, let each of us ask for one of these three graces: to live our lives for God’s glory, that is with love; to know how to entrust ourselves to the Father in moments of tribulation; and, in our encounter with the Father, to allow ourselves to be forgiven and to find the courage to forgive others.
Speaker:
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially those from the Netherlands, Australia, the Philippines, Canada and the United States of America. My particular greeting goes to the delegation from the NATO Defense College. May this Holy Week lead us to celebrate the resurrection of the Lord Jesus with hearts purified and renewed by the grace of the Holy Spirit. God bless you all!
© Libreria Editrice Vaticana

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