Francis embraces Jewish community at Passover

Francis hope note

Pope Francis sent a telegram yesterday to Rome's Jewish community to mark the beginning of Passover. It was addressed to the chief rabbi of Rome, Riccardo di Segni, whom Francis met March 20 during the course of his audience with delegations from other Christian confessions and non-Christian religions.

The telegram reads:

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A few days on from our meeting, and with renewed gratitude for your having desired to honor the celebration of the beginning of my ministry with your presence and that of other distinguished members of the Jewish community, I take great pleasure in extending my warmest best wishes to you and Rome's entire Jewish community on the occasion of the Great Feast of Pesach. May the Almighty, who freed His people from slavery in Egypt to guide them to the Promised Land continue to deliver you from all evil and to accompany you with His blessing. I ask you to pray for me, while I assure you of my prayers for you, trusting that we can deepen the bonds of esteem and mutual respect. - FRANCIS

[Thomas C. Fox is NCR publisher. Follow him on Twitter @NCRTomFox.]

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