Today the representatives of the Communities of Sant’Egidio from a few Asian countries -Pakistan, Indonesia, Cambodia, the Philippines and Hong Kong-, who are in Rome for a meeting on “The Courage to Hope”, participated in the Angelus prayer with Pope Francis in Saint Peter’s Square.
Here are the words of the Pope who, at the end of the prayer, addressed his affectionate greeting to them
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The text of the speech given by the Pope:
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
First of all, I want to thank God for the day I spent in Assisi the day before yesterday. Consider that this was the first time I went to Assisi and to make this pilgrimage just on the feast of St. Francis was a great gift. I thank the people of Assisi for their warm reception: Many thanks!
Today, the Gospel reading begins this way: “At that time the apostles said to the Lord: ‘Increase our faith!’” (Luke 17;5-6). I think that all of us can make this request our own. We too, like the Apostles, say to the Lord Jesus: “Increase our faith!”. Yes, Lord, our faith is small, our faith is weak, fragile, but we offer it to you just as it is, so that You make it grow. Do you think it right to repeat this all together: “Lord, increase our faith!”? Shall we do it? Everyone: Lord, increase our faith! Lord, increase our faith! Lord, increase our faith! Make it grow!
And what does the Lord answer? He replies: “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree: 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you” (Luke 17:6). The mustard seed is very small, but Jesus says that it is enough to have a faith like this, small, but true, sincere, to do things that are humanly impossible, unthinkable. And it is true! We all know people who are simple, humble, but with a very strong faith, who really move mountains! Let us think, for example, of certain moms and dads who face very hard situations; or of certain ill people, even seriously ill people, who convey serenity to those who visit them. These people, precisely because of their faith, do not boast about what they do, rather, as Jesus asks in the Gospel, they say: “We are useless servants. We have done what we were supposed to do” (Luke 17:10). There are many people among us who have this strong, humble faith and who do so much good!
In this month of October, which is especially dedicated to the missions, we think of many missionaries, men and women, who have overcome all sorts of obstacles to spread the Gospel. They have truly given their life; as St. Paul says to Timothy: “Do not be ashamed to bear witness to our Lord, nor to me, in prison for him; but with the power of God, suffer with me for the Gospel” (2 Timothy 1:8). But this is meant for everyone: each one of us, in his everyday life, can bear witness to Christ, with the power of God, the power of faith, the very small faith that we have, which, nevertheless, is strong! To bear witness to Jesus Christ with this strength, to be Christians with our life, with our testimony!
And where do we get this strength from? We get it from God in prayer. Prayer is the breath of faith: dialogue cannot lack in a relationship of trust, in a relationship of love, and prayer is the dialogue of the soul with God. October is also the month of the Rosary, and on this first Sunday it is a tradition to recite the Supplication to Our Lady of Pompei, the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Holy Rosary. Let us join spiritually to this act of confidence in our Mother, and let us receive the beads of the Rosary from her hands: the Rosary is a school of prayer, the Rosary is a school of faith!
AFTER THE ANGELUS
Dear brothers and sisters
Rolando Rivi was beatified yesterday in Modena. He was a seminarian of that region, Emilia, who was killed in 1945, when he was 14, because of hatred for his faith, guilty only of wearing a cassock during that time of raging violence against the clergy, who spoke out to condemn in the name of God the postwar massacres. But the faith in Jesus overcomes the spirit of the world! Let us thank God for this young martyr, heroic witness to the Gospel! Let us give thanks to God for this young martyr, heroic witness to the Gospel. Today, many young people aged 14 have this example before their eyes: a courageous young man, who knew where he had to go, who knew the love of Jesus in his heart and gave his life for Him. A beautiful example for young people!
I would like to remember with you the people who lost their lives on Lampedusa last Thursday. Let us all pray in silence for these brothers and sisters of ours: women, men, children… Let our hearts weep. Let us pray in silence.
I greet with affection all the pilgrims, especially the families and the parish groups. I greet the faithful of the city of Mede, those from Poggio Rusco, and the young people from Zambana and Caserta.
A special thought goes to the Peruvian community in Rome, who carried in procession the sacred image of the “Señor de los Milagros.” I can see this image from here, there, in the middle of the Square. Let us all greet the “Señor de los Milagros”, there, in the Square! I greet the faithful from Chile and the Bürgerwache Mengen group from the Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart, in Germany.
I greet the group of women who have come from Gubbio along the so-called "Via Francigena Francescana". I greet the leaders of the Community of Sant’Egidio from various countries of Asia – these people of Sant’Egidio are great! I greet the blood donors of the ASFA from Verona and those of the AVIS from Carpinone; the national council of AGESCI, the group of retirees from the Hospital of Sant’Anna of Como, the Istituto Canossiano of Brescia and the Association "Missione Effatà".
I wish everyone a good Sunday. Have a good lunch and goodbye!