'This celebration was a source of great joy to me': Holy Father tells crowds at end of Mass

His Holiness Pope Francis, Head of the Catholic Church, today delivered a Holy Mass in front of 180,000 worshippers who gathered inside and outside of the Sheikh Zayed Stadium to participate in a historic moment for locals, residents and the visitors of Abu Dhabi.

Delivering a greeting at the end of the Mass, Pope Francis said, "Before concluding this celebration, which has been a source of great joy to me, I wish to extend my affectionate greeting to all of you who have participated; the Chaldean, Coptic, Greek-Catholic, Greek-Melchite, Latin, Maronite, Syro-Catholic, Syro-Malabar and the Syro-Malankar faithful."

"I sincerely thank Bishop Hinder (Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia) for the preparations of this visit and for all his pastoral work. A warm thanks also to the Patriarchs, Major Archbishops and all the other Bishops present, to the priests, consecrated persons and to so many lay faithful who are deeply committed, with generosity and a spirit of service, to their communities and to the poorest."

"May Our Most Blessed Mother Mary sustain you in your love of the Church and in your joyful witness to the Gospel. Please, do not forget to pray for me. Thank you!," the Pontiff said in conclusion.

Photos: AFP

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