(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a message of greeting to the people of Portugal as he prepares to travel to Fatima on the 100th anniversary of the first apparition of Mary to three shepherd children on May 13th 1917.
In a video-message released just two days before his journey the Pope said that “Just hours from my pilgrimage to Our Lady of Fatima, I find myself in a state of joyful expectation for our upcoming encounter at the house of the Mother”.
I am well aware, he said, of the fact that you would like to welcome me into your homes, into your communities and into your towns as well: “I received your invitation!”
However, he continued, “I would have liked to be able to accept that invitation but it is impossible, and I thank you for the understanding with which my decision to keep my visit circumscribed to the Fatima Sanctuary, where I hope to meet you at the feet of the Virgin Mother, has been received”.
“It is in my role as universal pastor, Pope Francis said, that I am about to present myself to her and I need to feel you close, physically or spiritually so that we are one heart and one mind”.
In his message the Pope also said he is entrusting all Portuguese faithful to Our Lady asking her to “whisper into the ears of each one of them, and assure them that her Immaculate Heart is a refuge and a path leading them to God”.
“With Mary, I come as pilgrim in hope and in peace” is the logo of this pilgrimage, Pope Francis said, expressing his joy to learn of the intense preparations that are taking place in view of this “blessed moment.”
Inviting all faithful to open their hearts to be able to receive God’s gifts, the Pope thanked all faithful for their prayers for him saying that he is in need of them as he is “a sinner amongst sinners”.
“In His name, I come to you with the joy of sharing the Gospel of hope and peace. May the Lord bless you and Our Lady protect you” he said.
(from Vatican Radio)…
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a message to His Holiness Pope Tawadros II thanking him for his hospitality and for their “moving meeting and common prayer as brothers in Christ”, during his recent visit to Egypt.
Please find below the Holy Father’s message
To His Holiness Tawadros II
Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of Saint Mark
After my visit to Egypt and the blessed encounter with Your Holiness in Cairo, and recalling the fourth anniversary of our fraternal meeting in Rome on 10 May 2013, I take this opportunity to offer my prayerful best wishes for your peace and health, as well as my joy and gratitude for the spiritual bonds uniting the See of Peter and the See of Mark.
I once more express my profound appreciation for your hospitality and for our moving meeting and common prayer as brothers in Christ. I am especially grateful that we have strengthened our baptismal unity in the body of Christ by declaring together “that we, with one mind and heart, will seek sincerely not to repeat the baptism that has been administered in either of our Churches for any person who wishes to join the other”. Our bonds of fraternity “challenge us to intensify our common efforts to persevere in the search for visible unity in diversity, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit”.
Along this path we are sustained by the powerful intercession and example of the martyrs. May we continue to advance together on our journey towards the same Eucharistic table, and grow in love and reconciliation.
I assure Your Holiness of my continued prayers for you, and for peace in Egypt and the Middle East. In this Easter season I pray that the Holy Spirit, the strength and tenderness of God, may fill our hearts with his grace and kindle in them the fire of his love. May the Spirit of peace bestow on us an increase of hope, friendship and harmony.
With these sentiments, on this special occasion which has rightly become known as the day of friendship between the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church, I exchange with Your Holiness a fraternal embrace of peace in Christ our Lord.
From the Vatican, 10 May 2017
(from Vatican Radio)…
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis during his Wednesday General Audience continued his catechesis on Christian hope, highlighting Mary the Mother of Hope.
Listen to this report:
On the eve of his Apostolic visit to Fatima , Pope Francis on Wednesday, described Mary as the Mother of Hope adding that she was a woman of courage, perseverance and obedience.
Speaking to the thousands of pilgrims and tourists in St Peter’s Square, the Pope said that, “Our Lady’s experience of motherhood models that of so many mothers in our world.” Mothers who have had to confront the suffering of their children.
He went on to say that she courageously accepted her vocation and welcomed the new life entrusted to her. The Holy Father also noted how despite the trials in her life, she remained always obedient to God.
Mary, Pope Francis commented, is with her son until the very end. Her image, he said “standing at the foot of the cross and grieving the death of her innocent Son has inspired artists of every age to present her as a model of persevering hope in God’s promises.”
The hope that Our Lady had, underlined the Pope, was the fruit of a life of prayer and daily effort to be conformed to God’s will, and was fulfilled in Jesus’ rising to new life. We are not orphans, Pope Francis added, “we have a Mother in heaven who is the Holy Mother of God.”
Following his catechesis, the Holy Father, greeting Portuguese speaking pilgrims asked for prayers for his upcoming visit to Fatima. He also had words of welcome for a delegation of young Russian priests of the Patriarchate of Moscow who are being hosted by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian unity.
(from Vatican Radio)…
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis held his weekly General Audience on Wednesday, during which he spoke of Mary the Mother of Hope. Below, please find the official English-language summary of the Holy Father’s prepared remarks…
Dear Brothers and Sisters: In our continuing catechesis on Christian hope, we now turn to Mary, Mother of Hope. Our Lady’s experience of motherhood models that of so many mothers in our world. Hers is a witness of courage in accepting her vocation and welcoming the new life entrusted to her. It is also a witness of quiet yet trusting obedience to God’s will amid the trials of life. The Gospels speak of a certain “eclipse” of Mary during the public ministry of Jesus. She follows her Son in silence, yet in his passion, when most of the disciples flee, she remains with him to the very end. The image of Mary standing at the foot of the cross and grieving the death of her innocent Son has inspired artists of every age to present her as a model of persevering hope in God’s promises. That hope was the fruit of a life of prayer and daily effort to be conformed to God’s will, and was fulfilled in Jesus’ rising to new life. As Mother of Hope, may Our Lady remain at our side, sustain us by her prayers and guide our steps as we seek to follow her Son every day of our lives.
(from Vatican Radio)…