My Brothers and Sisters:
Pope Francis has invited all Catholics to recite the Rosary daily during the month of October, and at the end of it to pray the Sub Tuum Praesidium ("We fly to your patronage...") prayer and the prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel. These prayers will help us to spread Christ’s peace and to pray especially for the gift of unity in the Church and in the world. As Saint Paul told the Ephesians, we need to realize that “we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph 6:12).
I ask and encourage all to generously support this desire of the Pope, and to extend this invitation to many other friends, beseeching our Mother Holy Mary and Saint Michael the Archangel to protect the Church.
Remember also that, on October 2nd, Opus Dei will celebrate its 90th anniversary. Shortly after that date, Saint Josemaría wrote, “On that day our Lord founded his Work; He brought to birth Opus Dei”. Our joy in celebrating this anniversary is also thanksgiving to God, who constantly enriches his Church with gifts and charisms: “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. For his mercy endures forever” (Ps 118:1). Before St Josemaría’s eyes there opened up the immense panorama of cooperating in reconciling the whole world with God, through professional work and the other circumstances of ordinary life.
Let us recall that young boy who placed the little that he had—five loaves of bread and two fish—in Jesus’ hands. Thanks to this small act of generosity, Christ fed a multitude of people (cf. Jn 6:1-13). God also counts on our daily response, made up of small things that become great through the strength of his grace. In this way we dedicate our best efforts to seeking Him in our work and serving the people around us, and we strive to look at them and love them as He would.
Thus, in a thousand different ways, we make present in the world the light and warmth that He has put in our hearts. All of this is our small contribution as children, which our Father God makes use of to work wonders in souls.
The Synod on young people, the faith, and vocational discernment will begin soon. Let us continue praying and ask for the light and impulse needed so that Jesus’ message may continue to reach many young men and women, and they may decide to follow Him generously on the different paths that exist in the Church. If we remain united to our Lord, we will always be young, and He will continue to carry out his Work, ever ancient and ever new, in all the various places, times and cultures.
Let us accompany the Holy Father at this time, so that we may all go together to Jesus through Mary.
Rome, October 1, 2018.