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Gratitude and Hope

Christians, particularly Catholics, never failed to conclude the year with a prayer of gratitude to God. In line with this remarkable Christian tradition, Pope Francis in the evening of 31 December, led the first vespers of the Solemnity of Mary Mother of God which culminated in the famous traditional hymn of thanksgiving, Te Deum. Addressing a congregation of about 6500 in the St. Peter’s Basilica, the Pontiff urged everyone to close the year in emulation of Mary, as a paradigm of gratitude and hope.

During his reflection, the thoughts of the Bishop of Rome also turned to the theme of the next Jubilee of 2025, proposing a reflection not so much on the organizational aspect of the Holy Year, but on the testimony that the ecclesial and civil community will be able to offer “in the lifestyle, in the ethical and spiritual quality of coexistence. The event, graced by the presence of Cardinals, Bishops, members of diplomatic services, and government officials, also featured the noteworthy participation of nine of our seminarians in key liturgical service roles.

The liturgical service was a very remarkable one for our seminarians who apart from the sensation of serving in the grandiose St. Peter’s Basilica, were privileged to exchange the much-desired handshake with the Pontiff.


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