Emphasizing a theme of his Latin American tour, Pope John Paul II blessed inmates Friday at a Venezuelan prison known for its violence, telling them: “Each one of you is loved always by God.”
The pope began his two-day visit to this country of 22 million at the prison, an effort to call attention to the plight of prisoners everywhere who suffer inhumane treatment, church officials said.
The pope’s message of peace and reconciliation at the Catia jail, on the outskirts of Caracas, echoed sermons he has delivered at stops this week in Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua.
The 75-year-old pontiff looked weary but healthy. He walked unaided down the steps of the plane and spoke in clear and fluent Spanish. “This brief pastoral visit is going to permit me to share with all of you a few days full of faith,” he said.