Pope Francis has spoken English publicly for the first in his pontificate, sending a video message Friday to participants of a conference in the Philippines on the new evangelization.
Speaking slowly, and with several pauses for pronunciation, the pope asks the conference participants to "not get tired" of the church's work for mercy.
"Do not get tired of bringing the mercy of the Father to the poor, the sick, the abandoned, the young people and families," he says. "Let Jesus be known in the world of politics, business, arts, science, technology and social media. Let the Holy Spirit renew creation and bring forth justice and peace in the Philippines and in the great continent of Asia that is close to my heart."
The pope ends the message by asking the participants to pray for him. "I need it," he says. "I promise to pray for you."
Francis, born in Argentina, is known to be fluent in Spanish and Italian. He is also known to speak at least some Latin, French, German, and Portuguese.
Following is audio of Francis' English-language remarks, provided by Vatican Radio:
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