The plane on which Pope Francis was travelling has landed at the Ciampino airport, near Rome. Thus comes to an end Bergoglio’s Apostolic Journey to America. Before the Pontiff’s departure from Philadelphia, the vice president Joe Biden and about 500 organizers, volunteers, and benefactors had come to say him goodbye. To them, the Holy Father addressed the final t words of his apostolic journey. “This land – said the Holy Father – has been blessed with enormous gifts and opportunities. I pray for you to be good and generous custodians of the human and material resources which have been entrusted to you”. Thank you for your kindness and for the hospitality I have received which is “the sign of your love for Jesus and your faithfulness to him”. Then, he asked commitment “for the poor, the sick, the homeless and the migrants” as well as for the “defense of life at every stage of its development and concern for family life”.
To this purpose, he expressed his aspiration for “those days of prayer and reflection on the importance of family for a healthy society to encourage families to keep striving for holiness and to help them see the Church as a loyal companion, no matter what are the challenges they have to face”. Francis recalled some of the stages during his journey on the American soil: the canonization of Junipero Serra and his message of missionary activity, the stop at “Ground Zero”, a place where the “mystery of evil” echoes “strongly”. “But we know for sure – he added – that evil will never have the final say, and that in God’s merciful plan, love and peace will finally triumph over everything”. His last thought was for the organizers: “Let not weaken your enthusiasm for Jesus, his Church, for our families and the larger family which is the society we live in… As we have received much from God – gifts given to us for gratuitously and not for our strength – we must, seek to donate, in our turn, gratuitously to others”.