I write this letter deeply moved by your holy presence in my motherland, whose people have the privilege to listen to your words of faith, hope, joy, love, reconciliation and peace.
I heard a priest saying that Saint Francis of Assisi, had been among all followers of Jesus, the most similar one to him, and that your Holiness was the Pope who most resembled both of them. I followed with interest your steps and preaching since you arrived to my country and I can reaffirm that such a statement is certainly true. Your enlightening word has indeed succeeded in illuminating the mist that for so long had been covering the life of our nation, God bless you, Holy Father.
I lead an organization that has abandoned arms and is reincorporating into society after over half a century of war. We have rejected any manifestation of hate and violence, we are moved by the purpose of forgiveness to those who had been our enemies and have done so much damage to our people, we act with the indispensable humbleness to acknowledge our mistakes and ask for forgiveness to all men and women who had been victims of our action in one way or another.
Your repeated declarations about God’s infinite compassion move me to ask you for your forgiveness for any tear or pain we might have caused to the people of Colombia. We were never inspired by any eagerness other than that leading to the search for justice for the excluded and persecuted in our country, eagerness to put an end to the inequality and loot suffered by those who have been neglected. We dream with your understanding and that of your Father.
As your Holiness knows well, we have signed a Final Agreement with the Colombian Government that allowed the termination of the longest armed conflict in our continent. Since the very moment we signed it we have worked to sacredly comply with each and every one of its articles. More than once we have met with the lack of commitment from some State officials, but this has not changed our decision.
I don’t know whether it would be good to request from you, with the incredible power of your prayer, to raise your voice and invite the whole of the Colombian people to pray for the huge effort that it took to establish the Negotiations Table to win and overcome the resistances against the agreement and to finally to agree to the end of the conflict and for the construction of a stable and lasting peace to not be frustrated. We pray for it.
Health problems prevent me from attending your tour, that under the slogan “Let’s take the first step”, promises a brighter future to all Colombians. Your blessed word has the power to overcome any distance, which fills my spirit with satisfaction. The whole world knows your condemnation of selfishness, personal interest above the common good, destruction of nature in search of wealth, and oppression of the weaker.
You have stated God’s uneasiness with the plundering of poor nations by richer ones, with invasions and wars, with denial of difference and diversity, with the hard reality where eagerness for lust and gains prevail on human beings and submit it to cruel destinies. We are truly happy with your revelations. We thank you Father for your stubborn defence of life and dignity of all human beings, with no exception.
I am sure that your tour through Colombia will leave deep marks in its history. I saw how from all corners of our land, citizens of all ages and conditions, arrived to listen to your message, to salute your presence and word, to learn of your humbleness and generosity. I saw men and women crying with emotion and children admiring your smile. Only a holiness like you could achieve this.
God is with you, no doubt. We pray so that from now on he will always be in Colombia. Because his love reports peace, reconciliation and justice that the sons and daughters of this country so badly eager for. Since your first step in my country I felt as at last something will change.
Your sincere admirer,
Rodrigo Londoño Echeverry (Timoleón Jiménez)
Havana, Cuba, 7 September 2017