Currents News Staff
“I am now returning home greatly enriched. I bear in my heart the incomparable treasure of all those individuals and peoples who have left a mark on me,” Pope Francis said.
Tears running down the faces of attendees as the Holy Father described to 22 Indigenous delegations Friday just what his trip to Canada has meant to him. Pope Francis long called this a “penitential pilgrimage”
Monday began the path of healing for Indigenous school survivors when he finally apologized on Canadian soil.
“I am here because the first step of my penitential pilgrimage among you is that of again asking forgiveness and telling you once more that I am deeply sorry,” Pope Francis said.
On Tuesday, the Holy Father went to a Canadian site known for its miraculous healings – Lac St. Anne. The Holy Father blessed the lake following the Indigenous customs and making the sign of the cross in the direction of the four cardinal points. Then, he blessed those lakeside.
On Thursday, Pope Francis was greeted with cheers as he made his way to the National Shrine of St. Anne de Beaupre for Mass. Thousands converged on one of the oldest and most popular pilgrimage sites in North America to see the pope. Those who couldn’t get a seat inside watched on big screens outside as the Holy Father continued what he called a journey from failure to hope.
“Let us believe that jesus draws near to us on our journey,” the pontiff said. “Let us go out to meet him. let us allow his word to interpret the history we are making as individuals and as a community, and show us the way to healing and reconciliation.”
Now as the Holy Father heads back to Rome, he holds in his heart the memories of a trip that he says will forever stay with him.
“I can truly say that while i came to be with you, it was your life and experiences, the indigenous realities of these lands, that have touched my soul,” Pope Francis said, “remain with me and will always be a part of me.”