Pope Francis addressed a message to the Dominican Republic on the occasion of the Jubilee Year of the Virgin of Altagracia and recalled that “the human family” is called to “fraternal and supportive coexistence” .
In the letter, released today by the Holy See, Francis explained that he will send Monsignor Edgar Peña Parra, substitute for the Vatican Secretary of State, to the Dominican Republic on his behalf, who will leave at the feet of the Virgin the golden rose of the pontiffs.
“This Marian devotion so deeply felt by you is a sign of the Christian roots that characterize and give life to your land. That is why I exhort you not to lose heart in your testimony of faith, to care for and strengthen, with the example and intercession of the Virgin Mary, her love for Jesus and for the Church,” Francis wrote.
This Altograciano Jubilee Year, on the occasion of the canonical coronation of Our Lady of Altagracia, is “an invitation for us to learn to see, through her eyes, Jesus present in our neighbors, and to remember that we are part of the same family human call to fraternal coexistence and solidarity”.
“The Virgin of Altagracia has been for the Dominican people a source of unity in difficult times, a sure hand that holds in the setbacks that arise in daily walking,” the pope said.
Francisco defended that this devotion implies “walking together” overcoming differences.
“Dear Dominican brothers and sisters, do not be afraid to walk together, beyond divisions and mistrust, united in brotherhood, in the direction that Jesus indicates in the Gospel,” he wrote.
And he added: “Trust that his divine light transforms hearts and leads them to an encounter with Him and with their brothers and sisters; and have faith that the strength of the Holy Spirit impels them to carry out works of love and good for of those who need it most.”
The Latin American pope ended his letter asking the Dominican people to pray for him, a classic formula in Francis’ messages.