(Vatican Radio) At the end of the last Jubilee Audience of the soon-to-end Holy Year of Mercy, Pope Francis had a special greeting and a heartfelt “thank you” for the many volunteers who have offered an inestimable service to the Vatican and to pilgrims from across the globe.
To a group of about 600 Year of Mercy volunteers present in St. Peter’s Square on Saturday, the Pope said: “You have been fantastic! I thank you, who come from different countries, for your precious service that has allowed so many pilgrims to give life to this experience of faith in a positive way. In the course of these months I have noticed your discreet presence in the Square and I appreciate the dedication, patience and enthusiasm with which you have done your work. Thank you so much!”
Some 4000 volunteers have participated in the Extraordinary Jubilee, many of them Italian, but others from the United States, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Australia, Congo, India and Taiwan.
1800 of them were members of the Sovereign Order of Malta and provided medical assistance as well.
Each volunteer has given at least one week of his or her own time to assist the faithful providing information and offering to accompany the pilgrims to special entrances and gathering places set up at each of the Papal Basilicas, as well as helping them enter the Holy Doors and staying inside the Basilicas in prayer according to Vatican indications.