|2015 Time Magazine Cover|
This gracious letter was sent from Pope Francis to President Trump at the time of his inauguration. The Pope promises his prayer not only for the president but also for his family, for us and all the world. I've filled out the scripture reference at the letter's end, suggesting we might read the Gospel passage in its entirety. It's that important.
Upon your inauguration as the forty-fifth President of the United States of America, I offer you my cordial good wishes and the assurance of my prayers that Almighty God will grant you wisdom and strength in the exercise of your high office.
At a time when our human family is beset by grave humanitarian crises demanding farsighted and united political responses, I pray that your decisions will be guided by the rich spiritual values that have shaped the history of the American people and your nation's commitment to the advancement of human dignity and freedom worldwide.
Under your leadership, may America's stature continue to be measured above all by its concern for the poor, the outcast and those in need who, like Lazarus,* stand before your door.
With these sentiments, I ask the Lord to grant you and your family, and all the beloved American people, his blessings of peace, concord and every material and spiritual prosperity.
* Pope Francis is referring here to the story Jesus told of the rich man and Lazarus, found in Luke 16:19 and following. It begins:
Now there was a rich man dressed in purple and fine linen, who lived each day in joyous splendor. And a beggar named Lazarus lay at his gate, covered with sores and longing to be fed with the crumbs that fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores...