Skip to Content

Zenit (The World Seen From Rome)

Syndicate content
The World Seen From Rome
Updated: 12 min 22 sec ago

Before Leaving for Chile, Pope Meets Family in Mourning

20 min 11 sec ago

Before leaving his residence Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican for Fiumicino airport and Chile, Pope Francis met the parents and grandparents of a young girl of Rome, victim of a mortal accident, four days before her 18th birthday, reported the Vatican.

The Papal Almoner, Monsignor Konrad Krajewski, accompanied the mourning family.

It seems already a custom of Pope Francis to greet people whom have been faced by life’s trials before his international journeys. It is also a way of placing his trips under the symbol of compassion.

Thus, for instance, before flying to Bogota, Colombia on September 6, 2017, the Holy Father received two families, whose dwellings were destroyed by fire during the summer in Rome.

And before flying to Egypt, on April 28, 2017, the Pontiff met with immigrant Egyptian young people.

Pope’s Words to Journalists During Flight to Chile

29 min 52 sec ago

Below is a ZENIT translation of Pope Francis’ words to journalists during his flight from Rome to Chile yesterday, Jan. 15, 2018. The Holy Father is making his 22nd Apostolic Visit to Chile and Peru, Jan. 15-22. The Holy Father was presented to journalists by Director of the Holy See Press Office, Greg Burke:

* * *

Greg Burke: Thank you, Holiness. Thank you first of all for this morning’s thought: we all received the card [with the image of the boy] of Nagasaki. And thank you especially for the possibility to travel with you. We are full: 70 persons including, I believe, 12 from Chile and Peru, hence 12 new ones. I take advantage to tell them that it’s a greeting, not 70 questions, when we go around now. That’s all. Perhaps you would like to say something . . .

Photo given by Pope to Denounce War, Nagasaki © Holy See Press Office

Pope Francis: Good morning! I wish you a good trip. I was told by Alitalia that the Rome-Santiago flight is the longest direct flight Alitalia has: 15 hours and 40, or 20 minutes, I don’t know . . . We’ll have time to rest, work, so many things. Thank you for your work, which will be demanding: three days in one country, three days in the other . . . It won’t be so difficult for me in Chile, because I studied there for a year; I have many friends, and I know well  — well, well . . .  I know more –. Instead, I know Peru less, because we have gone there two or three times for congresses, meetings.

Then, Greg was talking about what I’ve given you [the card]: I found it by chance. It was taken in 1945; there is data on the back. It’s a boy with his dead little brother on his back, while he waits his turn, in front of the crematorium, at Nagasaki, after the bomb. I was moved when I saw this [photo], and I dared to write only “The fruit of war.” And I though of having it reprinted and give it, because such an image moves one more that a thousand words. That’s why I wanted to share it with you.

And thank you for your work!

Greg Burke:  Thank you!

[Original text: Italian] [Translation by Zenit, Virginia M. Forrester]

Pope’s Homily During Mass in Santiago, Chile (Full Text)

1 hour 18 min ago

Below is the Vatican-provided text of Pope Francis’ homily during the Mass over which he presided at the Parque O’Higgins in Chile’s capital of Santiago, Jan. 16, 2018, during his Apostolic Visit to Chile and Peru:

***

“When Jesus saw the crowds…” (Mt 5:1). In these first words of today’s Gospel we discover how Jesus wants to encounter us, the way that God always surprises his people (cf. Ex 3:7). The first thing Jesus does is to look out and see the faces of his people. Those faces awaken God’s visceral love. Jesus’ heart was not moved by ideas or concepts, but by faces, persons. By life calling out for the Life that the Father wants to give us.

When Jesus saw the crowds, he saw the faces of his followers, and what is most remarkable is that they, for their part, encounter in the gaze of Jesus the echo of their longings and aspirations. This encounter gives rise to the catalogue of the Beatitudes, that horizon towards which we are called and challenged to set out. The Beatitudes are not the fruit of passivity in the face of reality, nor of a mere onlooker gathering grim statistics about current events. They are not the product of those prophets of doom who seek only to spread dismay. Nor are they born of those mirages that promise happiness with a single “click”, in the blink of an eye. Rather, the Beatitudes are born of the compassionate heart of Jesus, which encounters the hearts of men and women seeking and yearning for a life of happiness. Men women who know what it is to suffer, who appreciate the confusion and pain of having the earth shake beneath their feet or seeing dreams washed away when the work of a lifetime comes to nought. But men and women who also know what it is to persevere and struggle to keep going, what it is to rebuild their lives and to start again.

How much the heart of the Chilean people knows about rebuilding and starting anew! How much you know about getting up again after so many falls! That is the heart to which Jesus speaks; that is the heart for which the Beatitudes are meant!

The Beatitudes are not the fruit of a hypercritical attitude or the “cheap words” of those who think they know it all yet are unwilling to commit themselves to anything or anyone, and thus end up preventing any chance of generating processes of change and reconstruction in our communities and in our lives. The Beatitudes are born of a merciful heart that never loses hope. A heart that experiences hope as “a new day, a casting out of inertia, a shaking off of weariness and negativity” (Pablo Neruda, El habitante y su esperanza, 5).

Jesus, in proclaiming blessed the poor, the grieving, the afflicted, the patient, the merciful… comes to cast out the inertia which paralyzes those who no longer have faith in the transforming power of God our Father and in their brothers and sisters, especially the most vulnerable and outcast. Jesus, in proclaiming the Beatitudes, shakes us out of that negativity, that sense of resignation that makes us think we can have a better life if we escape from our problems, shun others, hide within our comfortable existence, dulling our senses with consumerism (cf. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, 2). The sense of resignation that tends to isolate us from others, to divide and separate us, to blind us to life around us and to the suffering of others.

The Beatitudes are that new day for all those who look to the future, who continue to dream, who allow themselves to be touched and sent forth by the Spirit of God.

How good it is for us to think that Jesus comes from the mountain of Cierro Renca or Puntilla to say to us: blessed, blessed indeed are you, and you, and you…. Blessed are you if, moved by the Spirit of God, you struggle and work for that new day, that new Chile, for yours will be the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Mt 5:9).

Against the resignation that like a negative undercurrent undermines our deepest relationships and divides us, Jesus tells us: Blessed are those who work for reconciliation. Blessed are those ready to dirty their hands so that others can live in peace. Blessed are those who try not to sow division. That is how the Beatitude teaches us to be peacemakers. It asks us to try to make ever greater room for the spirit of reconciliation in our midst. Do you want to be blessed? Do you want to be happy? Blessed are those who work so that others can be happy. Do you want peace? Then work for peace.

Here I cannot fail to mention Santiago’s great bishop, who in a Te Deum once said: “If you want peace, work for justice”… And if someone should ask us: “What is justice?” or whether justice is only a matter of “not stealing”, we will tell them that there is another kind of justice: the justice that demands that every man and woman be treated as such” (Cardinal RAÚL SILVA HENRÍQUEZ, Homily at the Ecumenical Te Deum, 18 September 1977).

To sow peace by nearness, closeness! By coming out of our homes and looking at peoples’ faces, by going out of our way to meet someone having a difficult time, someone who has not been treated as a person, as a worthy son or daughter of this land. This is the only way we must forge a future of peace, to weave a fabric that will not unravel. A peacemaker knows that it is often necessary to overcome great or subtle faults and ambitions born of the desire for power and to “gain a name for oneself”, the desire to be important at the cost of others. A peacemaker knows that it is not enough simply to say: “I am not hurting anybody”. As Saint Alberto Hurtado used to say: “It is very good not to do wrong, but very bad not to do good” (Meditación radial, April 1944).

Peacebuilding is a process that calls us together and stimulates our creativity in fostering relationships where we see our neighbour not as a stranger, unknown, but rather as a son and daughter of this land.

Let us commend ourselves to Mary Immaculate, who from Cerro San Cristóbal watches over and accompanies this city. May she help us to live and to desire the spirit of the Beatitudes, so that on every corner of this city we will hear, like a gentle whisper: ““Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Mt 5:9)

[Vatican-provided text of prepared homily] [Original Text: Spanish]

© Libreria Editrice Vaticana

In Chile, Pope Asks Forgiveness for ‘Irreparable Damage’ Done to Children, Calls for Every Effort Be Made to Protect & Prevent Abuses

2 hours 13 min ago

Pope Francis has expressed his “pain and shame'” for the “irreparable damage” caused to children by some priests in the Church.

During his first full day in Chile–a country that has been scarred by the abuses that have caused tension and protests even up to the visit–addressing to the countries authorities, Pope Francis asked forgiveness for these acts and appealed that “every effort” be done to help victims and to ensure that “such things do not happen again.”

This was the Pontiff’s first address in the Latin American country he is visiting during his 22nd Apostolic Visit abroad, to Chile and Peru, Jan. 15-22, 2018.

‘I feel bound to express my pain and shame,” the Pope said, “at the irreparable damage caused to children by some ministers of the Church. I am one with my brother bishops, for it is right to ask for forgiveness and make every effort to support the victims, even as we commit ourselves to ensuring that such things do not happen again’

Beyond, acknowledging this sad reality, Francis said it is “a joy for me to stand once again on Latin American soil and begin this visit to Chile, this land so close to my heart, which welcomed and schooled me in my younger years.”

The Argentine Pontiff pointed out how Chile has distinguished itself in recent decades by the growth of a democracy that has enabled steady progress , noting the recent political elections were a demonstration of the solidity and civic maturity that they have achieved, which takes on particular significance in this year marking the 200th anniversary of the declaration of independence.

The Pope applauded the country’s later being founded on freedom and law. Yet, he stressed, each new generation must take up the struggles and attainments of past generations, while setting its own sights even higher. “Goodness, together with love, justice and solidarity, are not achieved once and for all; they have to be realized each day.”

“It is not possible to settle for what was achieved in the past and complacently enjoy it, as if we could somehow ignore the fact that many of our brothers and sisters still endure situations of injustice that none of us can ignore.”

The Pope said that Chile has a great and exciting challenge before them, namely “to continue working to make this democracy, as your forebears dreamed, beyond its formal aspects, a true place of encounter for all. To make it a place where everyone, without exception, feels called to join in building a house, a family and a nation.”

Calling Chile a home and family, the first Pope from the Americas stressed the country is generous and welcoming, enamored of her history, committed to social harmony in the present, and looking forward with hope to the future.

The ability to listen, the Pope said, proves most important in this nation, whose ethnic, cultural and historical diversity must be preserved from all partisan spirit or attempts at domination, and inspire instead our innate ability to replace narrow ideologies with a healthy concern for the common good.

It is necessary, the Pope said, to listen to the unemployed, native peoples, migrants, elderly, who ‘we cannot abandon,’ and young people.

One must listen to young people and their desire for greater opportunities, especially in education, Francis said, “so that they can take active part in building the Chile they dream of, while at the same time shielding them from the scourge of drugs that rob the best part of their lives.”

Francis also said we must listen to children “who look out on the world with eyes full of amazement and innocence, and expect from us concrete answers for a dignified future.”

“Here I feel bound to express my pain and shame at the irreparable damage caused to children by some ministers of the Church,” the Pope said, noting: “I am one with my brother bishops, for it is right to ask for forgiveness and make every effort to support the victims, even as we commit ourselves to ensuring that such things do not happen again.”

The Pontiff also underscored the importance of protecting the environment.

The Chilean soul, the Holy Father recalled, is ‘a vocation to being, a stubborn will to exist.‘ “It is a vocation to which all are summoned, and from which no one should feel excluded or unneeded. A vocation that demands a radical option for life, especially in all those forms in which it is threatened.”

Pope Francis concluded, thanking them and praying for the intercession of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Mother and Queen of Chile, to accompany and bring to birth the dreams of this blessed nation.

*** On ZENIT’s Web page: Full Text: https://zenit.org/articles/popes-address-to-chilean-authorities-diplomatic-corps/ 

Pope’s Address to Chilean Authorities, Diplomatic Corps

3 hours 13 min ago

Below is the Vatican provided text of Pope Francis’ address to Chilean authorities and the diplomatic corps this morning in Santiago, Chile:

***

Madam President,

Members of the Government of the Republic and of the Diplomatic Corps,

Representatives of Civil Society,

Distinguished Authorities,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a joy for me to stand once again on Latin American soil and begin this visit to Chile, this land so close to my heart, which welcomed and schooled me in my younger years. I would like my time with you also to be a moment of gratitude for that welcome. I think of a stanza of your national anthem: “How pure, Chile, are your blue skies / How pure the breezes that sweep across you / And your countryside embroidered with flowers / Is the very image of Eden”. It is a true song of praise for this land, so full of promises and challenges, but especially of hope for the future.

Thank you, Madam President, for your words of welcome. Through you, I would like to greet and embrace all the Chilean people, from the extreme northern region of Arica and Parinacota to the southern archipelago with its “riot of peninsulas and canals”.[1]Their rich geographical diversity gives us a glimpse of the rich cultural polyphony that is also their characteristic feature.

I am grateful for the presence of the members of the Government, the Presidents of the Senate, the Chamber of Deputies and the Supreme Court, as well as the other state authorities and their officials. I greet the President-elect, Mr Sebastián Piñera Echenique, who recently received the mandate of the Chilean people to govern the country for the next four years.

Chile has distinguished itself in recent decades by the growth of a democracy that has enabled steady progress. The recent political elections were a demonstration of the solidity and civic maturity that you have achieved, which takes on particular significance in this year marking the two-hundredth anniversary of the declaration of independence. That was a particularly important moment, for it shaped your destiny as a people founded on freedom and law, one that has faced moments of turmoil, at times painful, yet succeeded in surmounting them. In this way, you have been able to consolidate and confirm the dream of your founding fathers.

In this regard, I remember the emblematic words of Cardinal Silva Henríquez’s in a Te Deum homily: “We – all of us – are builders of the most beautiful work: our homeland. The earthly homeland that prefigures and prepares the (heavenly) homeland that has no borders. That homeland does not begin today, with us; but it cannot grow and bear fruit without us. That is why we received it with respect, with gratitude, as a task begun many years ago, as a legacy that inspires in us both pride and commitment”.[2]

Each new generation must take up the struggles and attainments of past generations, while setting its own sights even higher. Goodness, together with love, justice and solidarity, are not achieved once and for all; they have to be realized each day. It is not possible to settle for what was achieved in the past and complacently enjoy it, as if we could somehow ignore the fact that many of our brothers and sisters still endure situations of injustice that none of us can ignore.

Yours is a great and exciting challenge: to continue working to make this democracy, as your forebears dreamed, beyond its formal aspects, a true place of encounter for all. To make it a place where everyone, without exception, feels called to join in building a house, a family and a nation. A place, a house and a family called Chile: generous and welcoming, enamoured of her history, committed to social harmony in the present, and looking forward with hope to the future. Here we do well to recall the words of Saint Alberto Hurtado: “A nation, more than its borders, more than its land, its mountain ranges, its seas, more than its language or its traditions, is a mission to be fulfilled”.[3] It is a future. And that future depends in large part on the ability of its people and leaders to listen.

The ability to listen proves most important in this nation, whose ethnic, cultural and historical diversity must be preserved from all partisan spirit or attempts at domination, and inspire instead our innate ability to replace narrow ideologies with a healthy concern for the common good (which without being communitarian will never be a good). It is necessary to listen: to listen to the unemployed, who cannot support the present, much less the future of their families. To listen to the native peoples, often forgotten, whose rights and culture need to be protected lest that part of this nation’s identity and richness be lost. To listen to the migrants who knock on the doors of this country in search of a better life, but also with the strength and the hope of helping to build a better future for all. To listen to young people and their desire for greater opportunities, especially in education, so that they can take active part in building the Chile they dream of, while at the same time shielding them from the scourge of drugs that rob the best part of their lives. To listen to the elderly with their much-needed wisdom and their particular needs. We cannot abandon them. To listen to children who look out on the world with eyes full of amazement and innocence, and expect from us concrete answers for a dignified future. Here I feel bound to express my pain and shame at the irreparable damage caused to children by some ministers of the Church. I am one with my brother bishops, for it is right to ask for forgiveness and make every effort to support the victims, even as we commit ourselves to ensuring that such things do not happen again.

With this ability to listen, we are invited – especially today – to give preferential attention to our common home: to foster a culture that can care for the earth, and thus is not content with merely responding to grave ecological and environmental problems as they arise. This calls for boldly adopting “a distinctive way of looking at things, a way of thinking, policies, an educational programme, a lifestyle and a spirituality which together generate resistance to the assault of the technocratic paradigm”[4] that allows powerful economic interests to prevail over natural ecosystems and, as a result, the common good of our peoples. The wisdom of the native peoples can contribute greatly to this. From them we can learn that a people that turns its back on the land, and everything and everyone on it, will never experience real development. Chile’s possesses a deep-rooted wisdom capable of helping to transcend a merely consumerist view of life and to adopt a sage attitude to the future.

The Chilean soul is a vocation to being, a stubborn will to exist.[5] It is a vocation to which all are summoned, and from which no one should feel excluded or unneeded. A vocation that demands a radical option for life, especially in all those forms in which it is threatened.

I thank you once more for the invitation to come among you and to encounter the soul of this people. I pray that Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Mother and Queen of Chile, will continue to accompany and bring to birth the dreams of this blessed nation.

___________________

[1] GABRIELA MISTRAL, Elegios de la tierra de Chile.

[2] Cf. Homily at an Ecumenical Te Deum (4 November 1970).

[3] Cf. Te Deum (September 1948).

[4] Cf. Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’, 111.

[5] Cf. GABRIELA MISTRAL, Breve descripción de Chile, Anales de la Universidad de Chile 141934.

[Original text: Spanish] [Vatican-provided text] © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Pope Arrives in Chile

01/15/2018 - 6:18pm

Pope Francis arrived in Santiago, Chile, in the early evening of January 15, 2018, to begin the apostolic journey to Chile and Peru that will continue until January 22.

On his arrival, the Holy Father was welcomed by the President of the Republic of  Chile, Michelle Bachelet Jeria, by the President of the Senate Andrés Zaldivar, by the President of the chamber of Deputies Fidel Espinoza, by the President of the Supreme Court Haroldo Brito, from minister for Foreign Affairs Heraldo Muñoz and the Ambassador of Chile to the Holy See Mariano Fernandez. Also present were the Archbishop of Santiago de Chile, Card. Ricardo Ezzati Andrello,

S.D.B., and the President of the Episcopal Conference of Chile, S.E. Mons. Santiago Silva Retamales.  After the floral tribute of two children in traditional dress, military honors and the presentation of the Delegations, the Pope moved by car to the Apostolic Nunciature of Santiago of Chile.

Before reaching the Apostolic Nunciature, Pope Francis made a brief stop at the parish of San Luis Beltrán, of Pudahuel, to gather in prayer on the tomb of Mons. Enrique Alvear Urrutia, known as the “bishop of the poor”.

Pope Fears World on Path to Nuclear War

01/15/2018 - 4:11pm

Pope Francis on January 15, 2018, said he is worried that the world is on the path to nuclear war, according to Vatican News.

His comments came on his flight from Rome to Chile, the first leg of his apostolic journey January 15-22, to Chile and Peru.  He showed journalists on the flight a picture of a small boy in the aftermath of the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945. And he gave journalists cards with the picture on one side and the world “the fruits of war” on the other.

The possibility of a world free of nuclear arms may seem increasingly remote, Pope Francis admitted on November 10, 2017. But he said the world must be “genuinely concerned by the catastrophic humanitarian and environmental effects of any employment of nuclear devices.”

His remarks came in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace, to participants of the International Symposium on Disarmament entitled Prospects for a world free of nuclear weapons and for Integral Disarmament, promoted by the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development, held November 10-11 at the Vatican.

The Holy Father lamented that the “escalation of the arms race continues unabated,” noting that modernizing arms and developing new nuclear weapons is a great expense for nations and takes away the ability to address “real” priorities: “the fight against poverty, the promotion of peace, the undertaking of educational, ecological and healthcare projects, and the development of human rights”.

Pope Francis also pointed out that nuclear weapons “exist in the service of a mentality of fear that affects not only the parties in conflict but the entire human race…and weapons that result in the destruction of the human race are senseless even from a tactical standpoint.”

 

JF

Poland: All Dioceses Celebrate World Day of Migrants and Refugees

01/15/2018 - 11:28am

The Church in Poland actively participated in the celebration of the World Day of Migrants and Refugees on Sunday, January 14, according to Fr Pawel Rytel-Andrianik, Spokesman of The Polish Bishops’ Conference.

Fr Pawel said many of the nation’s churches celebrated mass “For Refugees and Exiles.” In addition, the Polish Bishops’ Conference appealed to the faithful to engage in specific assistance to migrants from the Middle East and Ukraine. There are 1.5 Million Ukrainian refugees living in Poland.

During the press conference in the seat of the Polish Bishops’ Conference on January 15, Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki, President of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, recalled the words of Pope Francis and the teaching of the Church, according to which, every migrant should be respected but he should also respect the country to which he comes. He stressed also the keywords of the Message of the Pope for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees: “welcoming, protecting, promoting and integrating” migrants and refugees.

Primate of Poland Archbishop Wojciech Polak said on Sunday, January 14, — echoing Pope Francis — that every exile and refugee knocking on our door is “an opportunity to meet Jesus”.

“To the mother’s love of the Church, to love of all of us, God entrusts Poles living outside of Poland; He entrusts everyone who comes to us from Ukraine; He entrusts those who, being refugees, need our help and care,’ the Archbishop said. “All this, that we, as Pope Francis points out to us, according to the most important commandment of God, learn to love one’s neighbor, the other, like himself.”

Earlier that day Archbishop Polak met with the family Salloum from Homs in Syria, which has been living and working in Olawa, in Poland, for three years.

Bishop Krzysztof Zadarko, chairman of the Council of the Polish Episcopate for Migration Tourism and Pilgrimages, noted on January 14, that the reluctance towards newcomers, present among many Christians, results from the scale of migration and the simplifications in the public debate. He said that the Church’s teaching is very concrete: one should give refugees a shelter, but when a refugee becomes a migrant, we have the right to require a clear declaration from him: “If you want to stay here, to live among us, you have a duty, enjoying the privilege of hospitality, to respect our culture, law, and customs.”

Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz, Metropolitan of Warsaw, explained during the Sunday, January 14, Mass that the issue of refugees is becoming an increasingly difficult problem, because the local phenomenon, associated with wars in a given corner of the world, is now becoming a global problem. This is due to the unequal distribution of wealth that the world has at its disposal, the overpopulation of some areas of Africa and Asia. This problem is developing and it does not look like it could end soon. It will always be a challenge for us, he said.

Fr Marcin Iżycki, Director of Caritas Polska, stated during the press conference at the seat of the Polish Episcopate on January 15: “There are six help centers for refugees in Poland. Last year we helped 6,000 refugees in the country, half of them were children”. He also cited the program “Family to Family” of Caritas Polska, in the frame of which already 17.000 Poles help 9.000 families in Syria and Lebanon.

 

JF

‘Give Witness to Your Faith,’ Pope Urges Latin American Community of Rome Day Before Trip

01/15/2018 - 8:57am

“Give witness to your faith,” said Pope Francis, encouraging the Latin American community in Rome, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the foundation of the Association, on Sunday, January 14, 2018, after the Angelus in St. Peter’s Square.

“I greet the Latin American community of Saint Lucia of Rome, which is celebrating 25 years of its foundation,” said the Pope in Italian.

On this World Day of Migrants and Refugees, the Pontiff added in Spanish: “On this happy anniversary, I pray to the Lord to fill you with His blessings so that you can continue to give witness of your faith amid the difficulties, the joys, the sacrifices and the hopes of your migratory experience. Thank you.”

Pope to Preside Over Vespers Concluding Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

01/15/2018 - 8:51am

Pope Francis will renew his prayer for unity among Christian faiths at the conclusion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

According to the Holy See Press Office, the Pontiff will preside over the celebration of Vespers at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, on Thursday, January 25, 2018. This vespers will conclude the week-long event, which this year reflects on the theme “Powerful is Your Hand, O Lord?”

To be present at the event are leaders of many Christian communities in Rome.

 

Pope Prays at Santa Maria Maggiore Before Departing for Chile

01/15/2018 - 8:39am

Saturday evening, Pope Francis traveled to the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore to pray for the success of his 22nd Apostolic Visit abroad to the South American countries of Chile and Peru, Jan. 15-22, 2018, reported Director of the Holy See Press Office, Greg Burke, on his Twitter.

The Holy Father almost always visits Rome’s Marian Basilica to pray for Mary’s protection and intercession before and after his papal trips.

According to the Holy See Press Office, the Pope prayed before the ancient image of Mary, Salus Populi Romani, and invoked the Virgin Mary’s protection on his travels and upon the people he will visit in the countries in the week ahead.

 

Pope Sends Telegrams on Way to Chile

01/15/2018 - 8:34am

Below are the Vatican News-provided texts of the telegrams Pope Francis sent to the Heads of State of the countries his plane flew over this morning while flying from Rome to Chile for his 22nd Apostolic Visit abroad, January 15-22, 2018.

***

HIS EXCELLENCY EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF THE FRENCH REPUBLIC

PARIS

AS I FLY OVER FRANCE ON MY WAY TO CHILE AND PERU FOR A PASTORAL VISIT, I SEND CORDIAL GREETINGS TO YOUR EXCELLENCY AND YOUR FELLOW CITIZENS.  I PRAY THAT ALMIGHTY GOD MAY BLESS YOU ALL WITH PEACE AND STRENGTH, AS I INVOKE DIVINE BLESSINGS UPON THE NATION.

FRANCISCUS PP.

***

HIS MAJESTY FELIPE VI, KING OF SPAIN

MADRID

I EXTEND CORDIAL GREETINGS TO YOUR MAJESTY, THE MEMBERS OF THE ROYAL FAMILY, AND THE PEOPLE OF SPAIN AS I FLY OVER YOUR COUNTRY ON MY WAY TO CHILE AND PERU FOR A PASTORAL VISIT.  INVOKING THE BLESSING OF ALMIGHTY GOD UPON THE NATION, I PRAY THAT HE MAY GRANT ALL OF YOU PEACE AND WELL-BEING.

FRANCISCUS PP.

***

HIS MAJESTY MOHAMMED VI, KING OF MOROCCO

RABAT

I OFFER BEST WISHES AND THE ASSURANCE OF MY PRAYERS AS MY JOURNEY TO CHILE AND PERU TAKES ME OVER MOROCCO.  ENTRUSTING YOUR MAJESTY, THE MEMBERS OF THE ROYAL FAMILY, AND THE PEOPLE OF MOROCCO TO THE ALMIGHTY, I WILLINGLY INVOKE UPON YOU THE BLESSINGS OF JOY AND PEACE.

FRANCISCUS PP.

***

HIS EXCELLENCY JORGE CARLOS FONSECA, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF CAPE VERDE

PRAIA

I OFFER BEST WISHES AND THE ASSURANCE OF MY PRAYERS AS MY JOURNEY TO CHILE AND PERU TAKES ME OVER CABO VERDE. ENTRUSTING YOUR EXCELLENCY AND YOUR FELLOW CITIZENS TO ALMIGHTY GOD, I WILLINGLY INVOKE UPON YOU THE BLESSINGS OF JOY AND PEACE.

FRANCISCUS PP.

***

HIS EXCELLENCY MACKY SALL, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SENEGAL

DAKAR

AS MY JOURNEY TO CHILE AND PERU TAKES ME THROUGH SENEGAL’S AIRSPACE, I EXTEND BEST WISHES TO YOUR EXCELLENCY AND YOUR FELLOW CITIZENS, WITH THE ASSURANCE OF MY PRAYERS FOR THE PEACE AND WELL-BEING OF THE NATION.

FRANCISCUS PP.

[Telegrams provided by Vatican News]

Pope Departs for Apostolic Visit in Peru and Chile

01/15/2018 - 7:57am

Pope Francis has departed from Rome and is headed toward Latin America.

This morning, the papal flight, Boeing B777, carrying the Pope, his entourage and journalists, took off from Rome’s Fiumicino Airport.

The Holy Father’s visit to Peru and Chile marks his 22nd international Apostolic Trip and his sixth journey to Latin America.

As is customary, the Pope sent telegrams to the Heads of States of the countries he flew over. Also, before the flight, as is customary, the Holy Father went to Rome’s Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore to entrust the trip to Our Lady’s help and protection.

After the Pope’s nearly 16-hour flight lands, the Pope will be arriving in the country’s capital of Santiago after 8 p.m. local time and will go direct to the residence of the apostolic nuncio where he will be staying during his time in the country. Tomorrow will mark his first full day. He will celebrate a Mass in Santiago and visit a women’s prison. The day after he will go to Temuco, which has a large indigenous population. The day after, he will have an encounter with young people. The day before the Pontiff will leave for Peru, the Pontiff’s last day in Chile, he will visit the northern port city of Iqique.

The visit will have great security measures in place, as in Chile the days ahead of the Pope’s arrival, there have been some protests.

***

On ZENIT’s Web page:

Pope’s Program in Peru and Chile: https://zenit.org/articles/popes-schedule-for-chile-and-peru-2/

FORUM: ‘Love Saves Lives’

01/15/2018 - 7:20am

That “shining city on the hill”

On January 9, 1961, President-Elect John F. Kennedy spoke these memorable words during an address to the General Court of Massachusetts:

“… I have been guided by the standard John Winthrop set before his shipmates on the flagship Arbella three hundred and thirty-one years ago, as they, too, faced the task of building a new government on a perilous frontier. “We must always consider”, he said, “that we shall be as a city upon a hill – the eyes of all people are upon us”. Today the eyes of all people are truly upon us – and our governments, in every branch, at every level, national, state and local, must be as a city upon a hill – constructed and inhabited by men aware of their great trust and their great responsibilities. … History will not judge our endeavors – and a government cannot be selected – merely on the basis of color or creed or even party affiliation. Neither will competence and loyalty and stature, while essential to the utmost, suffice in times such as these. For of those to whom much is given, much is required …”

Years later, on January 11, 1989, in his farewell address as he left the White House, President Ronald Reagan took up that theme of the “city on the hill” once again:

“I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don’t know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind, it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That’s how I saw it, and see it still.”

The shining city on the hill has become a dark place and many of the inhabitants of the land and indeed the whole world are appalled over what is happening. Now is the time for some deep, critical introspection and reflection on what is taking place in America and in the world. Who and what can bring a country back together after so much acrimony, hostility, division and bad, erratic behavior of political leaders?

How easy it is for Catholics in the United States and around the world to be cynical or discouraged at what we have experienced throughout the recent presidential electoral campaign in America, but neither attitude is helpful to the cause of truth, freedom and good citizenship. Our Catholic Christian faith tells us that God will provide what we need to do his will. Catholics who are faithful citizens have the ability – with the help of God’s grace – to make choices that are morally sound even if they appear to be politically incorrect.

The Church’s consistent ethic of life

Pope Francis rejects the frequently misunderstood notion that there are a special set of non-negotiable values regarding life issues: “I have never understood the expression non-negotiable values. Values are values, and that is it. I can’t say that, of the fingers of a hand, there is one less useful than the rest. Whereby I do not understand in what sense there may be negotiable values.” For those who claim that the abortion issue is the only item on the political agenda, such an attitude is not the complete pro-life position held by the Roman Catholic Church. Those who claim to be pro-life must be sure that their ethic for life is a consistent one. The Roman Catholic Church offers a teaching on the inviolability, the sacredness, the dignity of the human person. Opposition to abortion and euthanasia does not excuse indifference to those who suffer from poverty, violence and injustice.  Whatever is opposed to life itself, such as any type of murder, genocide, abortion, euthanasia or willful self-destruction, whatever violates the dignity of the human person such as mutilation, torments inflicted on body or mind, attempts to coerce the will itself, whatever insults human dignity such as subhuman living conditions, arbitrary imprisonment, deportation, unjust immigration policies and laws, slavery, prostitution, the selling of women and children, disgraceful working conditions where people are treated as instruments of gain rather than as free and responsible persons – all of these things and more poison human society.

If citizens take into consideration these important principles and the full meaning of what it means to be “pro-life,” they cannot fail in their duty as faithful citizens or loyal Catholics. The sacredness and dignity of all human life is found at the center of all issues, including the urgent matters of abortion, euthanasia, care for creation, war and peace, the preferential option for the poor, true economic justice, immigration reform and the responsibility to make difficult moral choices. 

Why March for Life?

Today we are living in the midst of a culture that denies human solidarity and takes the form of a veritable “culture of death”. This culture is actively fostered by powerful cultural, economic and political currents that encourage an idea of society exclusively concerned with efficiency. It is a war of the powerful against the weak. There is no room in the world for anyone who, like the unborn or the dying, is a weak element in the social structure or anyone who appears completely at the mercy of others and radically dependent on them and can only communicate through the silent language of profound sharing of affection. Human life has a sacred and religious value, but in no way is that value a concern only of believers. There is no question that abortion is the most serious wound inflicted not only on individuals and their families who should provide the sanctuary for life, but inflicted as well on society and its culture, by the very people who ought to be society’s promoters and defenders.

Immigration issues are also critical pro-life issues in our day. 

In the coming days, tens of thousands of people – many of them young men and women – descend upon Washington on January 19, 2018 for the annual “March for Life.” A similar event will place in Canada on May 10, 2018. The theme of this year’s US March is “Love Saves Lives”.  It is important to stop and reflect upon what we do as individuals and as a community to stand up for life – ALL human life. Building a culture of life and ending abortion is the duty and obligation each and every person. Starting with the family or neighborhood, our collective efforts will change hearts and minds, save lives, and build a culture of life. But there are other critical life issues on our agendas that require our strident, vocal and unified efforts.

Pope emeritus Benedict XVI on openness to life

In Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI’s 2009 landmark encyclical, Caritas in Veritate, (Charity in Truth), the Holy Father addressed clearly the dignity and respect for human life “which cannot in any way be detached from questions concerning the development of peoples.” Benedict wrote, “In economically developed countries, legislation contrary to life is very widespread, and it has already shaped moral attitudes and praxis, contributing to the spread of an anti-birth mentality; frequent attempts are made to export this mentality to other states as if it were a form of cultural progress.” “Openness to life is at the centre of true development,” writes the Pope. “When a society moves toward the denial or suppression of life, it ends up no longer finding the necessary motivation and energy to strive for man’s true good. If personal and social sensitivity toward the acceptance of a new life is lost, then other forms of acceptance that are valuable for society also wither away.”

Benedict rightly summed up the current global economic crisis in a remarkable way with these words: “Human costs always include economic costs, and economic dysfunctions always involve human costs.” The Roman Catholic Church offers a teaching on the inviolability, the sacredness and the dignity of the human person: a 20/20 vision for which we must strive each day if we claim to be “pro-life.” We must strive to see the whole picture, not with tunnel vision.

What does it mean to be authentically pro-life?

As Christians, being pro-life is one of the deepest expressions of our baptism: we stand up as sons and daughters of the light, filled with conviction, speaking the truth with firmness, conviction and determination, and never losing joy and hope. Being pro-life is not an activity for a political party or a particular side of the spectrum. It is an obligation for everyone: left, right and center! If we are pro-life, we must engage the culture around us, and not curse it. We must see others as Jesus does, and we must love them to life, even those who are opposed to us.  The litmus test for being pro-life is not only attending rallies or marches during the year in major cities of the world. The real test is what we do for life the remaining 364 days of the year, and what efforts, great and small, do we embrace to consistently and systematically oppose any type of murder, genocide, abortion, euthanasia or willful self-destruction, violations of human dignity, and coercions of the will. How can we advocate for those who endure subhuman living conditions, arbitrary imprisonment, deportation, slavery, prostitution, human trafficking and disgraceful working conditions and so on? All of these things and more poison human society. We must strive for a strong, consistent ethic for life.

Who of us, if we are truly claim to be a faithful, Catholic Christian, is not deeply disturbed by the state of the world today? Our common home has become a place of violent conflict, hatred and brutal atrocities, committed even in the name of God and of religion.  During his brief but highly significant pastoral visit Sweden last year, Pope Francis proposed six new beatitudes for the modern era on the Feast of All Saints:

“Blessed are those who remain faithful while enduring evils inflicted on them by others,

and forgive them from their heart;

“Blessed are those who look into the eyes of the abandoned and marginalized,

and show them their closeness;

“Blessed are those who see God in every person,

and strive to make others also discover him;

“Blessed are those who protect and care for our common home;

“Blessed are those who renounce their own comfort in order to help others;

“Blessed are those who pray and work for full communion between Christians.”

May these words of Pope Francis be a guiding light and source of instruction, inspiration, consolation and hope to the people of the United States during these days. May they help us to be agents of unity as America moves forward. May they inspire us to march for life across America and Canada. May they compel us to realize that our welcome and love for the poorest, weakest and most vulnerable among us will save lives.

***

Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB, is CEO of the Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation in Canada. He can be reached at: rosica@saltandlighttv.org

***

ON THE NET:

Excerpted from: “Love Save Lives” – A Reflection for All Who March for Life: http://saltandlighttv.org/blogfeed/getpost.php?id=79074

Pope’s Schedule for Chile and Peru

01/15/2018 - 6:48am

CHILE

Monday, 15 January 2018

ROME – SANTIAGO

8.00 Departure by plane from Rome/Fiumicino Airport for Santiago 20.10 Arrival at Santiago International Airport Welcome ceremony 21.00 Arrival of the Holy Father at the Apostolic Nunciature

 

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

SANTIAGO

8.20 Meeting with Authorities, the Civil Society and the Diplomatic Corps in La Moneda Palace 9.00 Courtesy visit to the President in the “Blue room” of  La Moneda Palace 10.30 Holy Mass in OʼHiggins Park 16.00 Short visit to the Female Central Penitentiary of Santiago 17.15 Meeting with Priests, Religious Men and Women, Consecrated and Seminarians in the Cathedral of Santiago 18.15 Meeting with the Bishops in the Sacristy of the Cathedral 19.15 Private Visit to the Shrine dedicated to Saint Alberto Hurtado, S.J. Private Meeting with the priests of the Society of Jesus

 

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

SANTIAGO-TEMUCO-SANTIAGO

8.00 Departure from Santiago Airport for Temuco 10.30 Holy Mass at Maquehue Airport 12.45 Lunch with inhabitants of the Araucanìa Region in the house “Madre de la Santa Cruz” 15.30 Departure from Temuco Airport for Santiago 17.00 Arrival at Santiago Airport 17.30 Meeting with the youth in the Shrine of Maipù 18.30 Transfer in closed vehicle to the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile 19.00 Visit to the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile

 

Thursday, 18 January 2018

SANTIAGO-IQUIQUE-LIMA

8.05 Departure from Santiago Airport for Iquique 10.35 Arrival at Iquique International Airport 11.30 Holy Mass in Lobito Campus 14.00 Lunch with the Papal Entourage at the “Casa de retiros del Santuario Nuestra Señora de Lourdes” of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary 16.45 Arrival at Iquique International Airport Farewell ceremony 17.05 Departure from Iquique International Airport for Lima

 

PERU

17.20 Arrival at Lima Airport Welcome ceremony

 

Friday, 19 January 2018

LIMA-PUERTO MALDONADO-LIMA

8.30 Meeting with Authorities, the Civil Society and the Diplomatic Corps in the Government Palaceʼs Honour Yard 9.00 Courtesy visit to the President in the Ambassadorsʼ Salon of the Government Palace 9.55 Departure from Lima Airport for Puerto Maldonado 11.45 Arrival at Puerto Maldonado Airport 12.00 Meeting with indigenous people of the Amazon region in the “Coliseo Regional Madre de Dios” 13.00 Meeting with the population at Jorge-Basadre-Institute 13.15 Lunch with representatives of the peoples of Amazonia in the Pastoral Centre “Apaktone” 15.45 Visit to “Hogar Principito” Childrenʼs Home 16.50 Departure by plane for Lima 18.40 Arrival at Lima Airport 19.00 Private meeting with members of the Society of Jesus in “San Pedro” Church

 

Saturday, 20 January 2018

LIMA-TRUJILLO-LIMA

7.40 Departure by plane for Trujillo 9.10 Arrival at Trujillo Airport 10.00 Holy Mass at the waterfront esplanade of Huanchaco 12.15 Transfer by Popemobile across Limaʼs “Buenos Aires” district 15.00 Short visit to the Cathedral 15.30 Meeting with the Priests, Religious Men and Women and Seminarians of the Ecclesiastical Provinces of Northern Peru in the “Colegio Seminario SS. Carlos y Marcelo” 16.45 Marian Celebration – Virgen de la Puerta in “Plaza de Armas” square 18.15 Departure by plane for Lima 19.40 Arrival at Lima Airport

 

Sunday, 21 January 2018

LIMA- ROME

9.15 Terce Prayer with Contemplative Sisters at Limaʼs Lord of the Miracles Shrine 10.30 Prayer in front of the relics of the Peruvian Saints in the Cathedral of  Lima 10.50 Meeting with the Bishops in the Archbishop’s Palace 12.00 Recitation of the Angelus Prayer in “Plaza de Armas” square 12.30 Lunch with the Papal Entourage in the Apostolic Nunciature 16.15 Holy Mass at Las Palmas Air Base 18.30 Arrival at the airport Farewell ceremony 18.45 Departure by plane for Rome/Ciampino

 

Monday, 22 January 2018

ROME

14.15 Arrival at  Rome/Ciampino Airport

__________________

 

Time zones Rome: + 1h UTC Santiago (CHILE): -3h UTC Temuco (CHILE): -3h UTC Iquique (CHILE): -3h UTC Lima (PERU): -5h UTC Puerto Maldonado (PERU): -5h UTC Trujillo (PERU): -5h UTC

 

© Libreria Editrice Vatican

Journey of Faith

01/14/2018 - 12:29pm
Angelus Address: On the Essential Characteristics of the Journey of Faith

‘To Seek Jesus, to Encounter Jesus, to Follow Jesus,” in “A Dynamic that moves between Epiphany and Following, between Manifestation and Vocation’

Pope Francis: To Seek Jesus, to Encounter Jesus, to Follow Jesus: This is the Way

Comments Before the Angelus on January 14, 2018

Pope Repeats Call to Welcome Migrants

“Every stranger who knocks at our door is an opportunity for an encounter with Jesus Christ.”

Holy Father: Church’s Four Verbs for Foreigners

Receive, Protect, Promote, Integrate

Holy Father: Church’s Four Verbs for Foreigners

01/14/2018 - 9:49am

Pope Francis encouraged the welcoming of migrants and refugees in his remarks after praying the Angelus January 14, 2018, with the crowd of some 25,000 in St. Peter’s Square:

“Every foreigner that knocks at our door is an occasion of encounter with Jesus Christ, who identifies Himself with the stranger, received or rejected, of every time (Cf. Matthew 25:35.43). [. . .] In this connection, I wish to reaffirm that our common response can be articulated around four verbs founded on principles of the Doctrine of the Church: receive, protect, promote and integrate.” For pastoral reasons, henceforth the World Day of Migrants and Refugees will be celebrated on the second Sunday of September. The next one, that is, the 105th will be Sunday, September 8, 2019.

© Libreria Editrice Vatican

[Original text: Italian] [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

 

JF

Pope Repeats Call to Welcome Migrants

01/14/2018 - 9:39am

Pope Francis in his January 14, 2018, homily on World Day of Migrants and Refugees repeated his call for Christians to welcome migrants, refugees and asylum seekers.

He referred to his message for World Day of Migrants and Refugees: “Every stranger who knocks at our door is an opportunity for an encounter with Jesus Christ, who identifies with the welcomed and rejected strangers of every age (Mt 25:35, 43).”

The Holy Father stressed his three essential points in addressing refugees: to protect, to promote and to integrate.” He said doing this requires that Christians must “welcome, know, and acknowledge” new arrivals. He continued:

” In today’s world, for new arrivals to welcome, to know and to acknowledge means to know and respect the laws, the culture and the traditions of the countries that take them in. It even includes understanding their fears and apprehensions for the future. For local communities to welcome, to know and to acknowledge newcomers means to open themselves without prejudices to their rich diversity, to understand the hopes and potential of the newly arrived as well as their fears and vulnerabilities.”

 

The Holy Father’s Homily

This year I wanted to celebrate the World Day of Migrants and Refugees with a Mass that invites and welcomes you, especially who are migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. Some of you have recently arrived in Italy, others are long-time residents and work here, and still, others make up the so-called “second-generation”.

For everyone in this assembly, the Word of God has resonated and today invites us to deepen the special call that the Lord addresses to each one of us. As he did with Samuel (cf 1 Sm3:3b-10, 19), he calls us by name and asks us to honor the fact that each of us has been created a unique and unrepeatable being, each different from the others and each with a singular role in the history of the world. In the Gospel (cf Jn 1:35-42), the two disciples of John ask Jesus, “Where do you live?” (v. 38), implying that the reply to this question would determine their judgment upon the master from Nazareth. The response of Jesus, “Come and see!” (v. 39) opens up to a personal encounter which requires sufficient time to welcometo know and to acknowledge the other.

In the Message for this year’s World Day of Migrants and Refugees I have written, “Every stranger who knocks at our door is an opportunity for an encounter with Jesus Christ, who identifies with the welcomed and rejected strangers of every age (Mt 25:35, 43).” And for the stranger, the migrant, the refugee, the asylum seeker and the displaced person, every door in a new land is also an opportunity encounter Jesus. His invitation “Come and see!” is addressed today to all of us, to local communities and to new arrivals. It is an invitation to overcome our fears so as to encounter the other, to welcome, to know and to acknowledge him or her. It is an invitation which offers the opportunity to draw near to the other and see where and how he or she lives. In today’s world, for new arrivals to welcome, to know and to acknowledge means to know and respect the laws, the culture and the traditions of the countries that take them in. It even includes understanding their fears and apprehensions for the future. For local communities to welcome, to know and to acknowledge newcomers means to open themselves without prejudices to their rich diversity, to understand the hopes and potential of the newly arrived as well as their fears and vulnerabilities.

True encounter with the other does not end with welcome but involves us all in the three further actions which I spelled out in the Message for this Day: to protect, to promote and to integrate. In the true encounter with the neighbor, are we capable of recognizing Jesus Christ who is asking to be welcomed, protected, promoted and integrated? As the Gospel parable of the final judgment teaches us: the Lord was hungry, thirsty, naked, sick, a stranger and in prison — by some he was helped and by others not (cf Mt 25:31-46). This true encounter with Christ is source of salvation, a salvation which should be announced and brought to all, as the apostle Andrew shows us. After revealing to his brother Simon, “We have found the Messiah” (Jn 1:41), Andrew brings him to Jesus so that Simon can have the same experience of encounter.

It is not easy to enter into another culture, to put oneself in the shoes of people so different from us, to understand their thoughts and their experiences. As a result, we often refuse to encounter the other and raise barriers to defend ourselves. Local communities are sometimes afraid that the newly arrived will disturb the established order, will ‘steal’ something they have long labored to build up. And the newly arrived also have fears: they are afraid of confrontation, judgment, discrimination, failure. These fears are legitimate, based on doubts that are fully comprehensible from a human point of view. Having doubts and fears is not a sin. The sin is to allow these fears to determine our responses, to limit our choices, to compromise respect and generosity, to feed hostility and rejection. The sin is to refuse to encounter the other, the different, the neighbor when this is, in fact, a privileged opportunity to encounter the Lord.

From this encounter with Jesus present in the poor, the rejected, the refugee, the asylum seeker, flows our prayer of today. It is a reciprocal prayer: migrants and refugees pray for local communities, and local communities pray for the newly arrived and for migrants who have been here longer. To the maternal intercession of Mary Most Holy, we entrust the hopes of all the world’s migrants and refugees and the aspirations of the communities which welcome them. In this way, responding to the supreme commandment of charity and love of neighbor, may we all learn to love the other, the stranger, as ourselves.

© Libreria Editrice Vatican

Pope Francis: To Seek Jesus, to Encounter Jesus, to Follow Jesus: This is the Way

01/14/2018 - 9:12am

“To seek Jesus, to encounter Jesus, to follow Jesus: this is the way,” proclaimed Pope Francis in his remarks January 14, 2018, before praying the Angelus with the crowd of 25,000 in St. Peter’s Square.

The Holy Father cited today’s gospel (John1:35-42), in which John the Baptist refers to Jesus as the “Lamb of God” and the two disciples follow Jesus, asking where he is staying.

“And so it is for us: He whom we contemplated in the mystery of Christmas, we are now called to follow in daily life,” the Pope said. “Today’s Gospel, therefore, introduces us perfectly in the Ordinary Liturgical Time, a time that serves to animate and verify our journey of faith in our usual life, in a dynamic that moves between epiphany and following, between manifestation and vocation.”

Pope Francis explained that a life of faith and discipleship requires a “personal encounter” with Christ. And a life of faith “consists in the desire to be with the Lord and, therefore, in a continuous search of the place where He dwells.”

* * *

Before the Angelus:

 Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!

As on the feast of the Epiphany and that of Jesus’ Baptism, today’s Gospel page (Cf. John 1:35-42) also proposes the theme of the Lord’s manifestation. This time it’s John the Baptist who points Him out to his disciples as “the Lamb of God” (v. 36), thus inviting them to follow Him. And so it is for us: He whom we contemplated in the mystery of Christmas, we are now called to follow in daily life. Today’s Gospel, therefore, introduces us perfectly in the Ordinary Liturgical Time, a time that serves to animate and verify our journey of faith in our usual life, in a dynamic that moves between epiphany and following, between manifestation and vocation.

The Gospel account indicates the essential characteristics of the journey of faith. There is an itinerary of faith, and this is the itinerary of disciples of all times, also ours, beginning with the question Jesus addresses to the two that, urged by the Baptist, start to follow Him: “What do you seek?” (v. 38). It’s the same question that, on Easter morning, the Risen One asks Mary Magdalene: “Woman, whom do you seek?” (John 20:15). Each one of us, in as much as a human being, is seeking: seeking happiness, seeking love, a good and full life. God the Father has given us all this in His Son Jesus.

Fundamental in this search is the role of a true witness, of a person who first of all has made the journey and has encountered the Lord. In the Gospel, John the Baptist is this witness. Therefore he can direct the disciples to Jesus, who involves them in a new experience, saying: “Come and see” (v. 39). And those two will never be able to forget the beauty of that encounter, to the point that the Evangelist even notes the hour: “it was about four o’clock in the afternoon” (Ibid.). Only a personal encounter with Jesus generates a path of faith and of discipleship. We can have many experiences, do many things, establish relations with many persons, but only the meeting with Jesus, in the hour that God knows, can give full meaning to our life and make our projects and our initiatives fruitful.

It’s not enough to build for oneself an image of God based on what one has heard said; it’s necessary to go to seek the divine Master and to go where He dwells. The two disciples’ request to Jesus: “Where are you staying?” (v. 38), has an intense spiritual meaning: it expresses the desire to know where the Master dwells, to be able to be with Him. The life of faith consists in the desire to be with the Lord and, therefore, in a continuous search of the place where He dwells. This means that we are called to overcome a habitual religiosity taken for granted, reviving the encounter with Jesus in prayer, in meditation of the Word of God and in frequenting the Sacraments, to be with Him and bear fruit thanks to Him, to His help and His grace.

To seek Jesus, to encounter Jesus, to follow Jesus: this is the way — to seek Jesus, to encounter Jesus, to follow Jesus.

May the Virgin Mary sustain us in this resolution to follow Jesus, to go and stay where He dwells, to listen to his Word of life, to adhere to Him who takes away the sin of the world, to rediscover in Him hope and spiritual enthusiasm.

© Libreria Editrice Vatican

[Original text: Italian]  [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

Angelus Address: On the Essential Characteristics of the Journey of Faith

01/14/2018 - 8:47am

VATICAN CITY, JANUARY 14, 2018 (Zenit.org).- Here is a ZENIT translation of the address Pope Francis gave today before and after praying the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

* * *

Before the Angelus:

 Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!

As on the feast of the Epiphany and that of Jesus’ Baptism, today’s Gospel page (Cf. John 1:35-42) also proposes the theme of the Lord’s manifestation. This time it’s John the Baptist who points Him out to his disciples as “the Lamb of God” (v. 36), thus inviting them to follow Him. And so it is for us: He whom we contemplated in the mystery of Christmas, we are now called to follow in daily life. Today’s Gospel, therefore, introduces us perfectly in the Ordinary Liturgical Time, a time that serves to animate and verify our journey of faith in our usual life, in a dynamic that moves between epiphany and following, between manifestation and vocation.

The Gospel account indicates the essential characteristics of the journey of faith. There is an itinerary of faith, and this is the itinerary of disciples of all times, also ours, beginning with the question Jesus addresses to the two that, urged by the Baptist, start to follow Him: “What do you seek?” (v. 38). It’s the same question that, on Easter morning, the Risen One asks Mary Magdalene: “Woman, whom do you seek?” (John 20:15). Each one of us, in as much as a human being, is seeking: seeking happiness, seeking love, a good and full life. God the Father has given us all this in His Son Jesus.

Fundamental in this search is the role of a true witness, of a person who first of all has made the journey and has encountered the Lord. In the Gospel, John the Baptist is this witness. Therefore he can direct the disciples to Jesus, who involves them in a new experience, saying: “Come and see” (v. 39). And those two will never be able to forget the beauty of that encounter, to the point that the Evangelist even notes the hour: “it was about four o’clock in the afternoon” (Ibid.). Only a personal encounter with Jesus generates a path of faith and of discipleship. We can have many experiences, do many things, establish relations with many persons, but only the meeting with Jesus, in the hour that God knows, can give full meaning to our life and make our projects and our initiatives fruitful.

It’s not enough to build for oneself an image of God based on what one has heard said; it’s necessary to go to seek the divine Master and to go where He dwells. The two disciples’ request to Jesus: “Where are you staying?” (v. 38), has an intense spiritual meaning: it expresses the desire to know where the Master dwells, to be able to be with Him. The life of faith consists in the desire to be with the Lord and, therefore, in a continuous search of the place where He dwells. This means that we are called to overcome a habitual religiosity taken for granted, reviving the encounter with Jesus in prayer, in meditation of the Word of God and in frequenting the Sacraments, to be with Him and bear fruit thanks to Him, to His help and His grace.

To seek Jesus, to encounter Jesus, to follow Jesus: this is the way — to seek Jesus, to encounter Jesus, to follow Jesus.

May the Virgin Mary sustain us in this resolution to follow Jesus, to go and stay where He dwells, to listen to his Word of life, to adhere to Him who takes away the sin of the world, to rediscover in Him hope and spiritual enthusiasm.

© Libreria Editrice Vatican

[Original text: Italian]  [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

  

After the Angelus:

 Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Observed today is the World Day of Migrants and Refugees. This morning I celebrated Mass with a good group of migrants and refugees residing in the diocese of Rome. In my Message for this Day, I stressed that the migrations are today a sign of the times.

“Every foreigner that knocks at our door is an occasion of encounter with Jesus Christ, who identifies Himself with the stranger, received or rejected, of every time (Cf. Matthew 25:35.43). [. . .] In this connection, I wish to reaffirm that our common response can be articulated around four verbs founded on principles of the Doctrine of the Church: receive, protect, promote and integrate.” For pastoral reasons, henceforth the World Day of Migrants and Refugees will be celebrated on the second Sunday of September. The next one, that is, the 105th,, will be Sunday, September 8, 2019.

Tomorrow I will go to Chile and Peru. I ask you to accompany me with prayer on this Apostolic Journey.

I greet you all, Romans and pilgrims: the families, the parish groups <and> the Associations.

A special greeting goes to the Latin American community of Saint Lucy in Rome, which celebrates the 25 years of its foundation. On this happy anniversary, I pray to the Lord to fill you with blessings, so that you can continue giving witness of your faith in the midst of the difficulties, joys, sacrifices, and hopes of your migratory experience. Thank you.

And I wish you all a happy Sunday. I recommend that you not forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and goodbye.

© Libreria Editrice Vatican

[Original text: Italian and Spanish]  [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

 

JF