Letter of Pope Francis
to the General Minister OFMCap
D.S.M. 22 April 2020
Reverend and Dear Fra Roberto,
I thank you for the message that you on the part of your confreres have sent me on the occasion of Easter. My heart was touched by your spiritual nearness , which I reciprocate with prayer for you all, especially for the sick and for those beloved brothers who during this time of pandemic have gone to our Father's house.
During the course of this trial we’re presently experiencing, we've found ourselves fragile. We need the Lord, who sees in us, beyond our fragility, an irrepressible beauty. With him we rediscover within ourselves a preciousness in our own frailty. We come to find that we are like beautiful crystals, fragile and precious at the same time. And if we, like crystal, are transparent before him, his light – the light of mercy – will shine in us, and through us into the world.
I experienced this light when they informed me that the Capuchins of the Pope John XXIII Hospital in Bergamo have been praying in the corridors for the sick and for the medical and nursing staff who are working heroically and tirelessly; giving strength, consolation and hope to all. This testimony that you are offering in so many places of suffering moves me and fills my heart with gratitude.
As we think about making our slow and difficult recovery from the pandemic, another danger creeps in: forgetting who is left behind. The risk is that we’re hit by a worse virus, that of indifferent selfishness. What is happening is shaking us up: it’s time to remove the inequality, to heal the injustice that undermines the health of all humanity. We therefore multiply works of mercy in order to build a better future.
As a sign of my gratitude for your gift of charity and of the love I have reserved for the brothers in need, I bless you and the entire Order of the Capuchin Friars Minor.
Please continue to pray for me.
The Very Reverend Father
Br. Roberto GENUIN
General Minister OFMCap.
General Curia of the Friars Minor Capuchin
Via Piemonte, 70