2010-11-08 15:10:58

Pope concludes Spain visit

(November 8, 2010) Pope Benedict XVI concluded a brief two-day visit to Spain Sunday night, reminding the nation that he would be back next summer for the World Youth Day in Madrid. The Pope made a weekend visit to Spain, Saturday and Sunday, to mark the Jacobean Jubilee Year in the pilgrim city of Santiago de Compostela and to dedicate the Church of the Sagrada Familia or Holy Family in Barcelona. The Pope spoke about his next Spanish visit before flying home form Barcelona’s International Airport. The next World Youth Day is set to take place Aug. 16-21, next year. In his farewell address, the Holy Father reviewed his Spanish trip, highlighting the rich patrimony of Christian faith that has constantly shaped the spirit, customs, art and character of the people. He urged that this faith find new vigour and inspiration, giving rise to an attitude of solidarity toward all, especially towards those communities and nations in greater need.
Prior the farewell ceremony at Barcelona’s international airport, Pope Benedict stopped at "Obra Benefico-Social Nen Deu" (Child-God Social Charity”, a centre run by the Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Hearts that dates back to 1892. Initially the charity was meant for children with special needs, but over the years the charity has grown to include care for children and adults with physical or mental handicaps, as well as programs for the elderly in need of special care. Talking to the inmates, their care-givers and relatives, the Pope affirmed that, "for the Christian, every man and woman is a true sanctuary of God, and should be treated with the highest respect and affection, above all when they are in need." He encouraged all those engaged in the charity to provide loving care to the smallest and the most needy, giving them the very best of themselves. The Pope commended the latest advances in medicine in improving care for those in greatest need, alongside a growing conviction of the importance of dedicated and humane treatment for a positive outcome of the healing process. But he also stressed that “It is indispensable that new technological developments in the field of medicine never be to the detriment of respect for human life and dignity, so that those who suffer physical illnesses or handicaps can always receive that love and attention required to make them feel valued as persons in their concrete needs." Pope Benedict turned to sick children for prayers so that he may faithfully fulfil the mission entrusted to him by Christ.

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