Pope Francis at Angelus: Church called to proclaim Christ

Pope Francis waves to faithful during the Angelus noon prayer he delivered from his studio window overlooking St.Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, Jan.15, 2017 - AP
Pope Francis waves to faithful during the Angelus noon prayer he delivered from his studio window overlooking St.Peter’s Square at the Vatican, Sunday, Jan.15, 2017 – AP
15/01/2017 14:38
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis prayed the Angelus with pilgrims and tourists gathered in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday. In remarks ahead of the traditional prayer of Marian devotion, the Holy Father focused on the witness borne by John the Baptist to Jesus Christ.
“The Church,” said Pope Francis, “is in every age called to do that, which John the Baptist did: to show Jesus to the people, saying, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”

Click below to hear our report

Departing from his prepared text, Pope Francis added, “There’s always trouble when the Church proclaims herself: she loses her way, and knows not where she goes.” Rather, “The Church proclaims Christ – she does not carry herself, she carries Christ, for He and He alone is the one who saves His people from sin: he frees them and leads them to the land of true liberty.”
 
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The Magi embody all those who long for God, says Pope Francis

The magi and the Star of Bethlehem (Dreamstime)

Pope Francis leaves in procession after celebrating Mass marking the feast of the Epiphany in St Peter's Basilica (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

On the feast of the Epiphany Francis said the Wise Men were ‘guided by an inner restlessness’

The Magi had the courage to set out on a journey in the hope of finding something new, unlike Herod who was full of himself and unwilling to change his ways, Pope Francis has said.
The Wise Men who set out from the East in search of Jesus personify all those who long for God and reflect “all those who in their lives have let their hearts be anaesthetised”, the Pope said on January 6, the feast of the Epiphany.
“The Magi experienced longing; they were tired of the usual fare. They were all too familiar with, and weary of, the Herods of their own day. But there, in Bethlehem, was a promise of newness, of gratuity,” he said.
Thousands of people were gathered in St Peter’s Basilica as the Pope entered to the sounds of the choir singing “Angels we have heard on high” in Latin. Before taking his place in front of the altar, the Pope stood in front of a statue of baby Jesus, spending several minutes in veneration before kissing it.
The Pope said that the Magi adoring the newborn king highlight two specific actions: seeing and worshipping.
Seeing the star of Bethlehem did not prompt them to embark on their journey but rather, “they saw the star because they had already set out,” he said.
“Their hearts were open to the horizon and they could see what the heavens were showing them, for they were guided by an inner restlessness. They were open to something new,” the Pope said.
This restlessness, he continued, awakens a longing for God that exists in the hearts of all believers who know “that the Gospel is not an event of the past but of the present.”
It is holy longing for God “that helps us keep alert in the face of every attempt to reduce and impoverish our life. A holy longing for God is the memory of faith, which rebels before all prophets of doom,” the Pope said.
Recalling the biblical figures of Simeon, the prodigal son, and Mary Magdalene, the Pope said this longing for God “draws us out of our iron-clad isolation, which makes us think that nothing can change”, and helps us seek Christ.
However, the figure of King Herod presents a different attitude of bewilderment and fear that, when confronted with something new, “closes in on itself and its own achievements, its knowledge, its successes”.
The quest of the Magi led them first to Herod’s palace that, although it befits the birth of king, is only a sign of “power, outward appearances and superiority. Idols that promise only sorrow and enslavement,” he said.
“There, in the palace, they did not see the star guiding them to discover a God who wants to be loved. For only under the banner of freedom, not tyranny, is it possible to realise that the gaze of this unknown but desired king does not abase, enslave, or imprison us,” the Pope said.

People in traditional attire endure cold weather during the annual parade marking the feast of the Epiphany in St Peter's Square (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

People in traditional attire endure cold weather during the annual parade marking the feast of the Epiphany in St Peter’s Square (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Unlike the Magi, the Pope added, Herod is unable to worship the newborn king because he was unwilling to change his way of thinking and “did not want to stop worshipping himself, believing that everything revolved around him”.
Christians are called to imitate the wise men who, “weary of the Herods of their own day,” set out in search of the promise of something new.
“The Magi were able to worship, because they had the courage to set out. And as they fell to their knees before the small, poor and vulnerable infant, the unexpected and unknown child of Bethlehem, they discovered the glory of God,” the Pope said.
After the Mass, Pope Francis greeted tens of thousands of people gathered in St Peter’s Square to celebrate the feast of the Epiphany.
A colourful parade led by the sounds of trumpets and drums, people dressed in traditional and festive clothing contributed to the cheerful atmosphere despite the chilly weather.
Explaining the significance of the Wise Men who presented their gifts to Christ after adoring him, the Pope gave the crowds a gift: a small booklet of reflections on mercy.
The book, entitled “Icons of Mercy”, presents “six Gospel episodes that recall the experience of people transformed by Jesus’s love: the sinful woman, Zacchaeus, Matthew, the publican, the Samaritan, the good thief and the apostle Peter. Six icons of mercy,” the papal almoner’s office said.
Together with the homeless, poor men and women and refugees, religious men and women distributed the books to the crowd. As a thank you, Pope also offered more than 300 homeless men and women sandwiches and drinks.

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Taken from: http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2017/01/06/the-magi-embody-all-those-who-long-for-god-says-pope-francis/

Join the Prayer Crusade of Reparation!

 

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Come, My Mother, Come!

  • Wars, Islamic terrorism, civil unrest, economic crises, unemployment…
  • Violent persecution of Christians in the Middle East, Africa, Pakistan, Vietnam, and in China…
  • “Legal” persecution of Christians in the West and Christianophobia in the name of secularism and “human rights” contrary to the Law of God…
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  • Grave crisis of the Faith within the bosom of Holy Mother Church where prelates in high offices promote the auto-demolition of the Church, doctrinal confusion, and the desacralisation of the Eucharist and of Matrimony…
In light of these calamities, a cry of anguish arises from the depths of many hearts:
Will God not have pity on our world?
Is it doomed to be punished and to disappear?
100 years ago Our Lady came to the Earth to warn mankind that it was bordering the abyss, but also came to say that She brought the solution.

To the three shepherd children of Fatima, She presented a simple, threefold solution full of hope:

Prayer, penance and amendment of life!

Nonetheless, one century later, after two world wars, and after the most atrocious terrorist attacks in the history of mankind, where is the conversion, penance and prayer?

Will we present ourselves empty-handed to Our Lady on the occasion of the centenary of the apparitions in which She asked for conversion, penance and prayer as the means to avoid God punishing the world?
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Pope Francis to visit Fatima in May 2017

 

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By Junno Arocho Esteves Catholic News Service
12.19.2016 9:05 AM ET
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Vatican confirmed that Pope Francis will visit Portugal in 2017 to mark the 100th anniversary of the Marian apparitions of Fatima.
The pope, who accepted the invitation made by President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and the bishops of Portugal, “will go on a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima from May 12-13,” the Vatican announced Dec. 17.
The pilgrimage will mark the anniversary of the Marian apparitions, which first began on May 13, 1917, when three shepherd children reported seeing the Virgin Mary.
The apparitions continued once a month until Oct. 13, 1917, and later were declared worthy of belief by the Catholic Church.
Following the announcement, Father Carlos Cabecinhas, rector of the Fatima shrine told Agencia Ecclesia, the news agency of the Portuguese bishops’ conference, that the visit was a “cause for joy” for the shrine.
“For the shrine of Fatima, it is a great joy to receive this confirmation of Pope Francis’ visit,” he said.
“We know that those days will be a pilgrimage marked by this festivity that, on the one hand is for the centennial of the apparitions and, on the other hand, marks the presence of the pope in our midst and a pope as beloved as Pope Francis,” Father Cabecinhas said.
While the Vatican confirmed the dates of the visit, the pope had already said that he intended to go.
“Certainly, as things presently stand, I will go to Portugal, and only to Fatima,” he told journalists during his return flight to Rome from Azerbaijan Oct. 2.
Pope Francis will be the fourth pontiff to visit the Marian shrine, following the footsteps of Blessed Paul VI, Saint John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, who each paid homage different years to Mary on the anniversary of the first apparition May 13.