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Posted on 04/27/2017 10:12 AM (News.va)
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis received participants in the Congress of the Interntaional Forum- Catholic Action on Thursday morning in the Synod Hall at the Vatican.
The Congress is focused on the theme: “Catholic Action in Mission with All and for Everyone”, and is marking the 150th anniversary of the organization’s founding.
The charism of Catholic Action is one of lay-led missionary discipleship: faithful to the Pope, rooted in the local Church, and active in service especially and particularly at the parish level.
Listen to our report
In his remarks to the participants, Pope Francis focused on renewing the mission of Catholic Action by recovering the original sense of the apostolate and applying that sense of self-understanding to the concrete conditions encountered in contemporary life.
Delivered in his native Spanish, and based on bullet-points, Pope Francis encouraged the participants to foster renewal by becoming prayerfully active, outgoing, docile to the Spirit, willing to sacrifice, and open to surprises.
Among the highlights of the special audience was the presentation to the Holy Father of several gifts, including an English-language psalter found aboard a boat carrying migrants to Lampedusa, thousands of whom drown during the course of the dangerous voyage.
The fate of the psalter’s owner is not known.(from Vatican Radio)
Posted on 04/27/2017 09:43 AM (News.va)
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday reflected on the fact that being Christian is not a social status.Speaking during the homily at the Mass in the Casa Santa Marta the Pope said Christians must be witnesses of obedience to God, like Jesus was.
Listen to the report by Linda Bordoni:
Recalling the reading of the day Pope Francis quoted Peter’s words before the Sanhedrin when he said “You must obey God rather than men."
Peter and the Apostles had been freed from prison by an Angel, and forbidden to teach in Jesus’s name
And yet the high priest said “You have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and want to bring this man's blood upon us”.
In order to better understand this event the Pope also referred to the Book of Acts regarding the early months of the Church which describes a growing Christian community and many miracles.
There was the faith of the people, he said, but there were also “wily” people trying to take advantage of the situation and “wanting to make a career for themselves” like Hananiah and Sapphira.
The same kind of dynamics take place today, the Pope noted, and there are those who despise “God’s faithful people.”
Turning back to the reading of today, the Pope said that Peter, who out of fear had betrayed Jesus on Holy Thursday, this time courageously answered the high priest saying that “we must obey God rather than men."
This answer, he said, makes it clear that "a Christian is a witness of obedience" as Jesus was, when in the garden of Gethsemane, he addressed these words to the Father: “not my will but yours be done”.
"The Christian is a witness of obedience; if we are not on this path and growing in our witness we are not Christians. We must at least walk this way” he said.
The Pope pointed out that “Jesus is not the testimonial of an idea, of a philosophy, of a company, of a bank or of power: he is a testimonial of obedience”.
However, Francis explained, to become a “witness of obedience” we need the "grace of the Holy Spirit".
"Only the Spirit can make us witnesses of obedience. It’s not enough to listen to spiritual guides or to read books…. all that is fine but only the Spirit can change our heart and make us witnesses of obedience” he said.
The Pope said it is a grace we must ask for: “Father, Lord Jesus, send me your Spirit so that I may become a witness of obedience, that is, a Christian.”
Francis also said that to be witnesses of obedience implies consequences, as narrated by the First reading; in fact, after Peter's response, the high priests wanted to put him to death:
"Persecutions were the consequences of this witness of obedience. When Jesus lists the Beatitudes he ends with the words ‘Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you’” he said.
And pointing out that the cross cannot be taken away from the life of a Christian, the Pope said “being a Christian has nothing to do with social status, it is not a lifestyle that makes one feel good; being a Christian means being a witness of obedience and the life of a Christian is full of insults and persecutions”.
Pope Francis concluded his homily saying that in order to be witnesses of obedience like Jesus, it is necessary to pray, to recognize that we are sinners with much “worldliness” in our hearts and to ask God for the grace of becoming witnesses of obedience" and to not be afraid when we are insulted and persecuted "because as the Lord said: the Spirit will tell us what to answer."
(from Vatican Radio)
Posted on 04/27/2017 06:52 AM (News.va)
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis received members of the Papal Foundation on Thursday who are on their annual visit to the Vatican. The Holy Father thanked them for supporting many religious and charitable causes and encouraged them, as a vital part of their "commitment to the work of the Papal Foundation, to pray for the needs of the poor, the conversion of hearts, the spread of the Gospel, and the Church’s growth in holiness and missionary zeal."
Below please find the English translation of the Pope's address to members of the Papal Foundation.
I am pleased to greet the members of The Papal Foundation on this, your annual visit to Rome. Our meeting today is pervaded by the joy of the Easter season, as the Church celebrates the Lord’s victory over death and his gift of new life in the Holy Spirit. It is my hope that your pilgrimage to the Eternal City will strengthen you in faith and hope, and in your commitment to promote the Church’s mission by supporting so many religious and charitable causes close to the heart of the Pope.
Today’s world, so often torn by violence, greed and indifference, greatly needs our witness to the Gospel message of hope in the redemptive and reconciling power of God’s love. I am grateful for your desire to assist the Church’s efforts to proclaim that message of hope to the ends of the earth and to work for the spiritual and material advancement of our brothers and sisters throughout the world, especially in developing countries. Each of us, as a living member of Christ’s body, is called to foster the unity and peace that is the Father’s will, in Christ, for our human family and all its members. I ask you, as a vital part of your commitment to the work of the Papal Foundation, to pray for the needs of the poor, the conversion of hearts, the spread of the Gospel, and the Church’s growth in holiness and missionary zeal. And I ask you, please, not to forget to pray for me!
Dear friends, with these words of encouragement, and with great affection, I commend you and your families to the loving intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church. To all of you I impart my Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of abiding joy and peace in the Lord.(from Vatican Radio)
Posted on 04/26/2017 07:38 AM (News.va)
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis held his weekly General Audience in St. Peter’s Square on Wednesday, during which he continued his catechetical reflections on the theme of Christian hope, focusing specifically on the final words of comfort and consolation the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew records Our Lord speaking to the disciples immediately before ascending into heaven and taking His place at the right hand of the Father.
“‘I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world. (Mt 28:20)’” began Pope Francis in his main catechesis, quoting the very last words of Matthew’s Gospel. “These last words of the Gospel of Matthew,” he went on to say, “recall the prophetic proclamation we find at its beginning: ‘[T]hey shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us, (Mt 1:23; cf. Is. 7:14)’”
Then, departing from his prepared text, Pope Francis said, “God will be with us, every day, until the end of the world.”
Click below to hear our report
Returning to his prepared remarks, the Holy Father explained, “Jesus will walk with us every day until the end of the world. “The whole gospel is encapsulated in these two quotations, words that convey the mystery of God, whose name, whose identity is being-with: He is not an isolated God, He is God-with-us, especially with us, that is, with the human creature.”
Again departing from his prepared text, Pope Francis said, “[T]he closeness of God, the love of God, the journey of God with us, is also called the ‘Providence of God’: He provides for our lives.”
In a final major departure from his prepared text, Pope Francis reflected on a suggestive nautical image: that of the anchor.
“[T]he anchor,” said Pope Francis, “is the instrument that navigators throw on the beach – and then they grab onto the anchor line to pull the ship to shore. Our faith is the anchor [we have] in heaven: we have our lives anchored in heaven. What must we do? Grab hold of the line – it’s always there – and let us go forward, for we are certain our life has something like an anchor in heaven, on that shore to which we’ll come one day.”(from Vatican Radio)
Posted on 04/26/2017 02:19 AM (News.va)
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has broken new ground in the way he communicates his message when the first-ever papal TED Talk went on line.
TED is a non-profit organization dedicated to spreading ideas in the form of short talks. What began in 1984 as a conference covering Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED), today provides talks from a wide range of different speakers – except popes. Until today.
Listen to Seàn-Patrick Lovett's report:
Those of us following TED’s annual Conference in Vancouver had been promised a surprise “world figure” who would deliver his 18-minute message on the conference theme, “The Future You”, alongside tennis superstar, Serena Williams, entrepreneur, Elon Musk, and chess champion, Garry Kasparov.
But no one expected to see the Pope’s face appear on the screen.
“I very much like this title – ‘The Future You’”, began Pope Francis, “because, while looking at tomorrow, it invites us to open a dialogue today, to look at the future through a ‘you’…The future is made of you’s…because life flows through our relations with others”.
Speaking in his typically personal and informal style, the Pope reminded us of how “everything is connected” and of how “life is about interactions”. “None of us is an autonomous and independent ‘I’”, he said. “We can only build the future by standing together, including everyone”.
His second message regarded “educating people to a true solidarity” in order to overcome the “culture of waste” that puts products at the centre of techno-economic systems, instead of people. “The other has a face”, he said. “The ‘you’ is…a person to take care of”.
The Pope illustrated his point by quoting Mother Teresa and the parable of the Good Samaritan, before going on to talk about Hope – which he described as “a humble, hidden seed of life that, with time, will develop into a large tree”. “A single individual is enough for hope to exist”, he said. “And that individual can be you”.
Pope Francis’ third and final message was dedicated to what he called “the revolution of tenderness”. Tenderness means “being on the same level as the other”, he said. It is not weakness, but strength: “the path of solidarity…of humility”. And through humility, even power becomes a service and a force for good.
The Pope concluded by affirming that the future of humankind is not in the hands of politicians or big companies but, most of all, in the hands of those people “who recognize the other as a ‘you’ and themselves as part of an ‘us’”.
Because: “We all need each other”.
Listen to the English-dubbed version of the Pope's TED talk:(from Vatican Radio)
Posted on 04/25/2017 08:31 AM (News.va)
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a video message to the people of Egypt ahead of his Apostolic Journey to the country, saying the “world needs peace, love and mercy”.
Listen to Devin Watkins’ report:
Pope Francis began his video message to the people of Egypt with the traditional greeting in Arabic: “As-salamu alaykum! (Peace be with you!)”
He said he is “coming as a friend, as a messenger of peace, and a pilgrim to the country that, over two thousand years ago, gave refuge and hospitality to the Holy Family as they fled the threats of King Herod.”
The Pope thanked those who invited him, including the President, Patriarch Tawadros II, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, and the Coptic-Catholic Patriarch, as well as all those people preparing for his arrival.
He said he would like his visit to “be a witness of my affection, comfort and encouragement for all the Christians of the Middle East”.
He called his interreligious and ecumenical visit “a message of friendship and respect for all the inhabitants of Egypt and the region, and a message of brotherhood and reconciliation with all the children of Abraham, particularly the Muslim world, in which Egypt holds so important a place.”
Speaking about recent “blind violence” in the country, Pope Francis said, “Our world needs peace, love and mercy. It needs peacemakers, people who are free and who set others free, men and women of courage who can learn from the past in order to build the future, free of every form of prejudice.”
He went on to say “Our world needs people who can build bridges of peace, dialogue, fraternity, justice and humanity.”
Finally, Pope Francis extended a warm embrace to the Egyptian people of all religions, age, and means.
“Shukran wa Tahiaì Misr! (Thank you and may Egypt flourish!)”
Please find below the official English translation of the Pope’s video message:
Dear People of Egypt,
Peace be with you!
With a heart full of joy and gratitude I will soon visit your beloved country, the cradle of civilization, the gift of the Nile, the land of sun and hospitality, the land where Patriarchs and Prophets lived, and where God, Benevolent and Merciful, the Almighty and One God, made his voice heard.
I am truly happy to be coming as a friend, as a messenger of peace, and a pilgrim to the country that, over two thousand years ago, gave refuge and hospitality to the Holy Family as they fled the threats of King Herod (cf. Mt 2:10-16). I am honoured to visit the land visited by the Holy Family!
I greet all of you warmly and I thank you for your invitation to visit Egypt, which you call ‘Umm il Dugna – Mother of the universe!
I offer heartfelt thanks to the President of the Republic, to His Holiness Patriarch Tawadros II, to the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, and to the Coptic-Catholic Patriarch, all of whom invited me. I also thank each of you for opening your hearts to me, and in particular all those who worked so hard to make this journey possible.
I would like this visit to be a witness of my affection, comfort and encouragement for all the Christians of the Middle East, a message of friendship and respect for all the inhabitants of Egypt and the region, and a message of brotherhood and reconciliation with all the children of Abraham, particularly the Muslim world, in which Egypt holds so important a place. I would also hope that my visit will make a fruitful contribution to interreligious dialogue with the followers of Islam and to ecumenical dialogue with the venerable and beloved Coptic Orthodox Church.
Our world is torn by blind violence, a violence that has also struck the heart of your beloved land. Our world needs peace, love and mercy. It needs peacemakers, people who are free and who set others free, men and women of courage who can learn from the past in order to build the future, free of every form of prejudice. Our world needs people who can build bridges of peace, dialogue, fraternity, justice and humanity.
Dear Egyptian brothers and sisters, young and old, women and men, Muslims and Christians, rich and poor… I embrace you warmly and I ask Almighty God to bless you and protect your country from every evil.
Please pray for me! Shukran wa Tahiaì Misr! (Thank you and may Egypt flourish!).(from Vatican Radio)