11-June-2013 -- ZENIT.org News Agency |

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Pope's Message to the Italian Association of the Blind and the Visually Impaired

VATICAN CITY, June 11, 2013 (Zenit.org) - Here is the translation of Pope Francis' audio message to the Italian Association of the Blind and the Visually Impaired who are gathered in Tirrenia for a time of vacation and rehabilitation.

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Dear Friends,

I greet you with affection. I know that you are gathered at Tirrenia for a period of sojourn, and that some of you wished to come to Rome. Thanks to modern technology, I can come to you! I thank you for your esteem, for your affection and, above all, for your prayers.

The Gospel tells us that Jesus had a special care for the blind. He healed many of them, along with so many other sick people. However, the healing of the person deprived of sight has a particular symbolic meaning: it represents the gift of faith. And it is a sign that concerns all, because we all have need of the light of faith to journey on the path of life. Because of this, Baptism, which is the first Sacrament of the faith, in times past, was also called "illumination."

I pray to the Lord to renew in each one of you the gift of faith, so that the light of God will always be in your spirit, the light of love, which gives meaning to our life, illumines it, gives us hope, and makes us be good and be at the disposition of our brothers.

I also wish every good for your association, the Italian Union of the Blind and of the Visually Handicapped. Spread always the culture of meeting, of solidarity, of hospitality to persons with disability, not only asking for the just providence, but fostering their active participation in the life of society.

I entrust you all to the protection of Mary Most Holy, our Mother. I ask you to pray for me and for my service to the Church, and I bless you, along with your dear ones, from my heart.

[Translation by ZENIT]

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