Tuesday, March 29, 2011


The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI received a pilgrimage delegation of workers and trade unionists in an audience at the Vatican on March 27, 2011. The Holy Father greeted the workers with the words:

Dear brothers and sisters, I am very happy to receive you this morning and to offer my cordial greeting to the officials who are present, the workers and to all of you who have come as pilgrims to the See of Peter. A special greeting to Bishop Vincenzo Paglia, whom I thank for the words that he addressed to me also on your behalf. You have come in great numbers to this meeting -- I am sorry that not everyone was able to come inside -- on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of John Paul II's visit to Terni. Today we would like to recall him in a special way for the love that he showed for the working world; we can almost hear him repeat the first words that he spoke shortly after he arrived at Terni: "The main reason for this visit, which takes place on St. Joseph's day … is to bring a word of encouragement to all the workers and express my solidarity with them, my friendship and my affection" (Speech to Officials in Terni, March 19, 1981). I make these sentiments my own and from my heart I embrace all of you and your families.

The Pope went on to connect the Holy Eucharist and the Mass with the social solidarity workers express when they struggle for economic justice. The Pope called for "more solidarity." He spoke of the right for workers to have rest on the weekends and about how worker solidarity can address the important issue of workplace safety.

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