A smile on the world

1954 Vietnam1954 Vietnam

Paris, 22 July 1956

Stay calm and peaceful in the turmoil of today's world. Be a 'smile' on the world, this is my wish for you. I think that I cannot find a better one, for if you smile when suffering could have got you down, it is because your heart is at peace, that you have forgot your personal preoccupations, and are thinking only of others.

Bring a smile to all who suffer and whose sufferings you would like to make your own: the sick, the lepers, the prisoners, those who toil in factories, who suffer in their flesh, in their heart or in their soul. If you were no more than a little ray of sunshine that comes into a dark and icy room to light it up and warm it, it would be enough.

Do not be afraid. Set out light-hearted, lighter than bubbles, for every corner of the world. Set out for far horizons without looking back. Hide yourselves away at the heart of all the masses of human beings who are despised and forsaken. Do not be afraid of suffering, least of all the suffering of loneliness. Do not look for compensations in human friendships around you. After many years' experience I can affirm to you that the Lord does not want for us a private friendship with one or two people. Rather He wants our hearts to be free to offer loving friendship to all people without exception. This is the essential of our vocation: the difficult challenge of bringing into our hearts all those who are close around us and whom the Lord has put on our path as if each were our one and only friend. Only with God's help can we meet this challenge: that no one be able to be jealous of the friendship we have for another because all would be loved to the utmost.

This is the message of our vocation, the message I want us to carry throughout the world, over all the continents, to all peoples, be they Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Marxists or atheists.

Our Lady of the Whole World will go with you to carry this message, giving the world her little Jesus, a baby just starting to smile and to hold out his arms to any who want to take Him into theirs.

May Our Lady enter deeper and deeper into your lives. Without, her you can do nothing, no more than a little child can do anything without its mother. She is the one who will keep you from all dangers. It is because she watches over all your steps that I have the audacity to send you out to the four corners of the globe.