From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Mon Jul 13 10:49:02 2015
would be to think of our parishes, communities, chapels, wherever there are Christians, as true centres of encounter between ourselves and God.
"The Church is a mother, like Mary. In her, we have a model. We too must provide a home, like Mary, who did not lord it over the word of God, but rather
welcomed that word, bore it in her womb and gave it to others. We too must provide a home, like the earth, which does not choke the seed, but receives it,
nourishes it and makes it grow.
"That is how we want to be Christians, that is how we want to live the faith on
this Paraguayan soil, like Mary, accepting and welcoming God's life in our brothers and sisters, in confidence and with the certainty that 'the Lord will shower down blessings, and our land will yield its increase'. May it be so", concluded the Holy Father.
Angelus: with Mary's help, may the Church become a home for all
Vatican City, 13 July 2015 (VIS) - At the end of the Holy Mass, Archbishop Edmundo Ponziano Valenzuela Mellid and the Orthodox archbishop of South America,
Tarasios, greeted the Holy Father, who expressed his gratitude and, before praying the Angelus, invited all those present to look upon the Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our Mother.
"She is the gift that Jesus gives to his people. He gave her to us as our Mother at the hour of the cross and of His suffering. She is the fruit of Christ's sacrifice for us. And from that moment, Mary has always been, and will
always be, with her children, especially the poor and those most in need. She has become part of the tapestry of human history, of ours lands and peoples. As
in so many other countries of Latin America, the faith of the Paraguayan people
is imbued with love for Our Lady. They approach their Mother with confidence, they open their hearts and entrust to her their joys and sorrows, their aspirations and sufferings. Our Lady consoles them and, with tender love, fills
them with hope. They never cease to turn with trust to Mary, Mother of mercy for
each and every one of her children, without exception".
"I ask Our Lady, who persevered in prayer with the Apostles as they awaited the
Holy Spirit, to watch over the Church and strengthen her members in fraternal love. With Mary's help, may the Church be a home for all, a welcoming home, a mother for all peoples".
Dear brothers: I ask you, please, do not forget to pray for me. I know how beloved the Pope is in Paraguay. I keep you in my heart and I pray for you and for your country", concluded the Holy Father who, following the Marian prayer, blessed the one and a half million people who had attended the celebration.
He then travelled by car to the apostolic nunciature where he lunched with the
22 bishops of the Episcopal Conference of Paraguay. He then left the nunciature
for the waterfront promenade of Costanera where he met with the young people of
The Pope greets the young before leaving Paraguay
Vatican City, 13 July 2015 (VIS) - The Pope bade farewell to Paraguay with a meeting with 200 thousand young people at the waterfront promenade of Costanera,
where instead of reading the discourse he had prepared for the event, he responded to the testimonies presented by three young people, Orlando, Liz and Manuel. An extensive summary is presented below:
"After reading the Gospel, Orlando came to greet me and said, 'I ask you to pray for the freedom of each one of us, of us all'. It is the blessing that we will now all ask for together: freedom. Because freedom is a gift God gives us,
but we must know how to receive it, we must know how to have a free heart, for we all know that in the world there are many bonds that bind our heart and do not let it be free. Exploitation, the lack of means for survival, drug addiction, sadness ... all these things take away our freedom. And so, all together, let us thank Orlando who asked for this blessing, that of keeping our
heart free, a heart that can say what it thinks and what it feels, that can do what it thinks and feels. This is a free heart!"
He continued, "we have heard two other accounts, from Liz and from Manuel. ...
Liz could easily have put her mother in a rest home, her grandmother in another
rest home, living as a young person, enjoying herself and studying whatever she
wanted. And Liz said, 'no'. She has spent her life so far, up to the age of 25,
serving her mother and her grandmother. Alone? No. Liz was not alone. She spoke
to us about an aunt who was like an angel, and she spoke about her meetings with
friends at the weekend, with a young evangelising community, with the youth group that has nurtured her faith. And those two angels - the aunt who helped and the youth group - gave her the strength to keep going. And this is solidarity".
"First: freedom and a free heart. Second: solidarity, to accompany others. Solidarity. This is what this testimony teaches us. And Manuel has not had an easy life. He has said some tough words to us: 'I was exploited, mistreated, and
I risked falling prey to drug abuse ... I was alone'. Exploitation, mistreatment,
loneliness. And instead of doing negative things, instead of stealing, he set to
work. Instead of taking revenge for his hardship, he looked ahead! ... Hope, work,
fighting for life, forging ahead - this is what Manuel tells us about. As you can see, for many young people life is not easy. And I want you to understand this. ... 'While for me life has been relatively easy, there are other young people for whom if has not been relatively easy'. Indeed, there are some whom desperation drives to delinquency, crime, and corruption. To these boys and girls, we must say that we are near to them, that we want to lend them a hand, we want to help them with solidarity, love and hope".
"There are two beautiful phrases that Liz and Manuel said to us. Listen. Liz told us that as she got to know Jesus, this opened the door to hope. And Manuel
said, 'I met God, my strength'. That is, getting to know God, drawing closer to
Jesus, means hope and strength. And this is what we need to find in the young today: young people with hope and young people with strength. ... Why? Because they know Jesus, they know God. Free heart, solidarity, work, hope, effort. This
is the path. But this requires sacrifice and means swimming against the current.
The Beatitudes that we have just read are Jesus' plan for us. And it is a project that goes against the grain. Jesus tells us, 'Blessed are the poor in spirit'. He does not say, 'Blessed are the rich, who accumulate wealth'. No. Those who are poor in spirit. Blessed are the poor in spirit, those who are able
to draw close to and understand those who are poor. Jesus did not say, 'Blessed
are those who get by well', but rather, blessed are those who are able to share
in the suffering of others. ... The other day, a priest said to me, jokingly, 'Go
ahead, keep on telling the young to make noise; but then we have to deal with the hubbub they make! Make a noise, but organise it well! A noise that gives us
a free heart, that gives us solidarity, that gives us hope, that is born of meeting Jesus and knowing that God, Who knows us, is our strength. This is the noise I want you to make".
Following his meeting with the young, the Pope travelled to the airport of Asuncion, pausing to bless the Ycua Bolanos supermarket and commercial complex rebuilt after the worst public accident in the country's history, a fire that caused the death of 400 people and injured 500. The papal aeroplane left Paraguayan soil at 7 p.m. local time, and landed in Rome shortly before 2 p.m. (Rome time).
Telegram for the death of Cardinal Biffi
Vatican City, 11 July 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has sent a telegram of condolences to Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, archbishop of Bologna, Italy, for the death of Cardinal Giacomo Biffi, archbishop emeritus of the same see, at the age
of 87 following a long illness.
The Pope expressed to the relatives of the deceased his profound participation
in their suffering and recalls with affection the cardinal who served the Gospel
with joy and wisdom, and who loved the Church tenaciously. He remembers with gratitude the late cardinal's intense work as auxiliary bishop of Milan and later as archbishop of Bologna, as well as his tireless service in the human and
Christian formation of entire generations through his teaching and the publication of numerous works. The Holy Father praises his direct language in the service of the Word of God, as well as his valued preaching of the Spiritual
Exercises, in particular to the Roman Curia.
Strong condemnation of the attack on the Italian consulate in Cairo
Vatican City, 11 July 2015 (VIS) - Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin has sent a telegram of condolences to the president of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Abdel Fatteh Al Sisi, in response to the attack on the Italian consulate
in Cairo in which one person was killed and another ten injured.
"His Holiness Pope Francis has learned with great concern of the attack in Cairo against the Italian consulate following a wave of attacks that have risked
the lives of many people. Pope Francis firmly condemns this type of act and launches an appeal to political and religious leaders at all levels to work together to combat, with ever greater determination, the scourge of terrorism and to promote harmony and solidarity. The Pope expresses his profound solidarity with the families affected and with all those struck by this blind violence, assuring them of his prayers, and as a pledge of consolation, implores
an abundance of divine blessings for all the Egyptian people".
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 11 July 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed:
- the following consultors of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints: Msgr.
Ennio Apeciti of the clergy of Milan, Italy and rector of the Pontifical Lombard
Seminary of Sts. Ambrose and Charles in Rome; Fr. Francesco Massagrande of the clergy of Verona, Italy, member of the Pious Society of Don Nicola Mazza.
- the following members of the executive board of Caritas Internationalis: Bishop Lucas Van Looy of Gent, Belgium, president of Caritas Europe; Archbishop
Youssef Antoine Soueif of Cyprus of the Maronites and president of Caritas Cyprus; and Msgr. Gerard Patrick Burns, president of Caritas Oceania.
- Cardinal Luis Antonio G. Tagle, archbishop of Manila, Philippines and president of Caritas Internationalis, as member of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum".
- Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa, archbishop emeritus of Santiago de
Chile, as his special envoy to the Sixth National Eucharistic Congress of Mexico, to be celebrated in Monterrey from 9 to 13 September 2015.