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Pastoral letter of Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle on the Holy Year of Mercy

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07.12.2015, Rome

In His speech Cardinal Tagle said that “On 8th December Pope Francis will open the Holy Door at St Peter’s Basilica. On that day, the door will become a Door of Mercy through which anyone who enters will experience the love of God who consoles, pardons and instills hope. Pope Francis is repeatedly reminding us that God is mercy. This jubilee year calls us all to welcome and recognize God’s mercy so that we can be true agents of His mercy”.



“Thomas Aquinas described mercy as a virtue and “the compassion in our hearts for another person’s misery, a compassion which drives us to do what we can to help him”. Pope Francis said that Caritas is the caress of the Mother Church to her sons and daughters. Indeed, our very nature, as Caritas organizations, our “raison d’être” is to be instruments of God’s mercy, sharing in the mission of the Church, called not only to announce the good news, but also to be the good news to all, in particular to the suffering and the marginalized”, Cardinal continued.

It is said that “Whether we are providing food to malnourished children, protecting abandoned mothers, defending victims of trafficking, helping rural families to grow their food, advocating for an equitable world, welcoming refugees, providing tarpaulins to typhoon victims or nurse those who suffer from Ebola, we alleviate the suffering of the body and we provide comfort to the spirit. In doing so, we testify that mercy is the bridge that connects us with God and with our brothers and sisters”.

‘Through continued works of love and mercy, I encourage all Caritas organisations around the world to walk through their own “door of mercy” in order to receive the Lord’s transformative grace. Our constant contemplation of mercy leads us on the road to salvation’, Cardinal Tagle noted.

Pope Francis will open the Holy Door of Charity at a Caritas Rome hostel on 18th December. Through this gesture, the Bishop of Rome is showing how Caritas’ work is an essential part of evangelization in his diocese. Besides, it is a compelling invitation to show compassion to the most needy in the Eternal City.

His Eminence Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle addressed all leaders of Caritas to repeat the symbolic gesture of Pope Francis by opening your doors of charity in all Caritas organizations as an invitation to the faithful to welcome this Jubilee Year of Mercy as a real moment of grace. He asked to share the healing properties of what Saint John XXIII called the “medicine of mercy” as opposed to the “arms of severity”.

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