The Pastoral Letter by Malta and Gozo’s Bishops covering the intended visit of Pope Francis to the Maltese Islands carries the title ‘Ejjew Nilqgħu b’Qalb Kbira lill-Papa Franġisku’ (Let us Welcome with Great Heart the Visit of Pope Francis) as a great gift to Malta and Gozo.
The Letter covers the Pope’s reflections when last month he had glowing words of praise for Malta and the welcome given to St Paul when he was shipwrecked on the islands 2,000 years ago.
It reflects how the appreciation given by Pope Francis to the Maltese has led to the theme of this visit ‘Ġabu Ruħom Magħna Bi Ħlewwa Liema Bħalha’ (They Showed a Great Sweetness of Welcome) from the Acts of the Apostles and throws priceless light on the challenges faced today.
The Letter also recounts the Pope’s wish to meet up with immigrant groups as he has done in other Mediterranean localities. In the Bishops’ belief this should show there is not only indifference and hostility to humanity because ever person is precious before God.
The Bishops added the visit should show Pope Francis that for the Maltese all life is precious as reflected by Jesus Christ and should be treated with love and tenderness from conception to the grave after natural death.
Archbishop Charles Scicluna and Bishops Mario Grech and Joseph Galea-Curmi ended by saying the Pope’s visit will strengthen faith in Christ and enable a life of integrity, honesty and truth and that these be values be passed on to future generations.