Pope Francis welcomed pediatric cancer patients from Poland to the Vatican on Monday, telling them “Jesus is always close to you.”
Children being treated at the Wrocław Oncology Clinic and their families prayed a Hail Mary together with the pope, who greeted each child individually and gave them rosaries.
“Dear children, Jesus is always by our side to give us hope. Always, even in the moments of sickness, even in the most painful moments, even in the most difficult moments. The Lord is there,” Pope Francis said.
“God loves you, dear children. You are loved by him: Do you want to be apostles of God’s love in the Church and in the world? Jesus needs you for this witness. He entrusts his plans to you and he asks: Do you want to be my apostles of God’s love? Answer ‘yes’ to him with enthusiasm and bring the joy of God’s love to others.”
“If someone finds himself alone and feels abandoned, let us not forget that Our Lady is always close to us, especially when the burden of illness, with all its problems, makes itself felt: She is there close by, just as she was next to her Son, Jesus, when everyone had abandoned him. Mary is always there, next to us, with her maternal tenderness. Let us think often of Our Lady, reciting a Hail Mary … I bless you from my heart.”