Pope Francis called on immigrants from Mexico and the rest of the world to “not feel discouraged by all the challenges and hardships,” saying they should never feel ashamed of their own traditions.
Addressing the crowd from the lectern President Abraham Lincoln used when he delivered the Gettysburg Address, Pope Francis spoke to America’s Hispanic population: “Thank you for opening the doors. Many of you have emigrated. I greet you with my heart.
“Many of you came to this country at great personal cost, but in the hope of building a new life. Do not feel discouraged by all the challenges and hardships you might face. I ask you not to forget that, like those who came here before you, you bring many gifts to this new nation of yours. Please: do not feel ever ashamed of your traditions.
“Do not forget the lessons you learned from your elders, which can bring an enrichment to life of this American land. You are also called to be responsible citizens. You are called to be responsible citizens and to contribute, like others, with so much resilience before you — to contribute fruitfully to the life of the communities in which you live.
“Do not forget what happened here over two centuries ago. Do not forget the declaration which said all men and women were created equally — to be equal — that governments exist to protect and defend these rights.” Continue reading