Before the Angelus
After the Angelus
At midday today, at the end of the Holy Mass celebrated in the Vatican Basilica at the end of the 15th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the theme: “Young people, the faith and vocational discernment”, the Holy Father Francis appeared at the window of his study in the Vatican Apostolic Palace to pray the Angelus with the faithful and pilgrims gathered in Saint Peter’s Square.
The following is the Pope’s introduction to the Marian prayer:
Before the Angelus
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning! But it doesn’t look too good! [it is raining and windy]
This morning, in Saint Peter’s Basilica, we celebrated the Mass for the closure of the Assembly of the Synod of Bishops dedicated to the young. The first Reading, from the prophet Jeremiah (31: 7-9) was particularly in tune with this moment, because it is a word of hope that God gives to His people. A word of consolation, based on the fact that God is the father for His people, He loves them and He cares for them like a son (cf. 9); there opens up before them a prospect for the future, a passable, viable road on which even “the blind and the lame, expectant mothers and women in labour” (v. 8), that is, people in difficulty, can walk. Because God’s hope is not a mirage, like certain advertisements where everyone is healthy and beautiful, but it is a promise for real people, with strengths and weaknesses, potential and frailties, like all of us: God’s hope is a promise for people like us.
This Word of God expresses well the experience we have lived during the weeks of the Synod: it has been a time of consolation and hope. It was first and foremost a moment of listening: in fact, listening requires time, attention, openness of the mind and of the heart. But this commitment transformed every day into consolation, especially because we had the lively and stimulating presence of the young in our midst, with their stories and their contributions. Through the testimonies of the Synod Fathers, the multiform reality of the new generations entered into the Synod, so to say, from everywhere: from every continent and from the many different human and social situations.
With this fundamental attitude of listening, we sought to interpret reality, to grasp the signs of these times of ours. A community discernment, carried out in the light of the Word of God and of the Holy Spirit. This is one of the most beautiful gifts that the Lord makes to the Catholic Church, that is, gathering together voices and faces from the most varied situations and in this way attempting an interpretation that takes into account the wealth and complexity of phenomena, always in the light of the Gospel. In this way, in these days, we considered how to journey together through many challenges, such as the digital world, the phenomenon of migration, the meaning of the body and of sexuality, and the drama of wars and violence.
The fruits of this labour are already “fermenting”, like grape juice in the barrels after the harvest. The Synod on the young was a good harvest, and promises good wine. But I would like to say that the first fruit of this synodal Assembly should be found precisely in the example of a method that we have tried to follow, ever since the preparatory phase. A synodal style that does not have as its main objective the drafting of a document, valuable and useful though it may be. More than the document, however, it is important to diffuse a way of being and working together, young and old, in listening and discernment, to arrive at pastoral choices that respond to reality.
Let us invoke for this the intercession of the Virgin Mary. To her, the Mother of the Church, let us entrust our thanksgiving to God for the gift of this synodal Assembly. And may she help us now to carry forward what has been experienced, without fear, into the ordinary life of communities. May the Holy Spirit make grow, with His wise imagination, the fruits of our work, to continue to journey together with the young people of all the world.
After the Angelus
Dear brothers and sisters,
I express my closeness to the city of Pittsburgh, in the United States of America, and in particular to the Jewish community, following yesterday’s terrible attack in a synagogue. My the Almighty welcome the deceased in His peace, console their families and support the injured. In reality we are all wounded by this inhuman act of violence. May the Lord help us to extinguish the outbreaks of hatred that develop in our societies, reinforcing the sense of humanity, respect for life, moral and civil values, and the holy fear of God, Who is Love and the Father of all.
Yesterday in Morales, in Guatemala, José Tullio Maruzzo of the Friars Minor and Luis Obdulio Arroyo Navarro were proclaimed Blessed. Engaged in promoting justice and peace, they were killed in hatred of the faith in the last century, during the persecutions against the Church. Let us praise the Lord and entrust the Guatemalan Church to their intercession, as well as all the brothers and sisters who unfortunately still today, in various parts of the world, are persecuted as they are witnesses to the Gospel. Let us all applaud the two Blesseds!
I greet you with affection, dear pilgrims from Italy and from various countries, especially the young people from Maribor, Slovenia, the Spanish “Centro Académico Romano” foundation and parishioners from San Severo Vescovo in Canobbio, Switzerland. I greet the volunteers of the Saint John XXIII Shrine in Sotto il Monte, sixty years after the election of the beloved Pope from Bergamo, as well as the faithful from Cesena and Thiene, and the altar servers and young people of Catholic Action from the diocese of Padua.
Today we celebrate the feast of the Señor de los Milagros, very strongly felt in all Peru; I address a grateful thought to the Peruvian people and the Peruvian community of Rome. Last Sunday you were here with the icon of the Señor de los Milagros, and I did not realize. Best wishes to you on your feast day! And I greet with affection the Venezuelan community in Italy, gathered here with the image of Our Lady of Chiquinquirá, la Chinita.
I wish you all a good Sunday and please, do not forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch, and goodbye.