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Chiara Lubich

“The Focolare Movement is an international movement inspired by the Gospel that works for unity in all spheres of life. For over sixty years it has drawn together people from all Christian traditions, many of the world’s religions, and those with no formal faith who share the aim of building a more united world." Chiara Lubich founded the Focolare Movement, which was approved by Pope John XXIII in 1962 as “The Work of Mary.” Today it is present in 194 countries, ... (Continue reading)

Why I chose ‘Francis’

As you know, there are various reasons why I chose the name of Francis of Assisi, a familiar figure far beyond the borders of Italy and Europe, even among those who do not profess the Catholic faith. One of the first reasons was Francis’ love for the poor. How many poor people there still are in the world! And what great suffering they have to endure! After the example of Francis of Assisi, the Church in every corner of the ... (Continue reading)

Habemus Papam

Dear Brother Cardinals, The period of the conclave has been a momentous time not only for the College of Cardinals, but also for all the faithful. In these days we have felt almost tangibly the affection and the solidarity of the universal Church, as well as the concern of so many people who, even if they do not share our faith, look to the Church and the Holy See with respect and admiration. From every corner of the earth fervent prayers have been ... (Continue reading)

Gratias Pater

Venerable and Dear Brothers, I welcome you with great joy and I offer each one of you my most cordial greeting. I thank Cardinal Angelo Sodano who, as always, interpreted the sentiments of the entire College: Cor ad cor loquitur I warmly thank you, Your Eminence. And I would like to say—taking up your reference to the disciples of Emmaus—that for me too it has been a joy to walk with you in these years, in the light of the ... (Continue reading)

The oil of consolation and the wine of hope

On 11 February 2013, Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation from the papacy. The full text is reprinted here. Dear Brothers, I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of ... (Continue reading)

The Church embraces all humanity

I would like to reflect in particular on the meaning of the word “catholic,” a word which indicates an essential feature of the Church and her mission. The characteristic marks of the Church are in accordance with God’s plan, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us: “it is Christ who, through the Holy Spirit, makes his Church one, holy, catholic and apostolic, and it is he who calls her to realize each of these qualities” (no. 811). Specifi- cally, ... (Continue reading)

On the service of charity

“The Church’s deepest nature is expressed in her threefold responsibility: of proclaiming the word of God, celebrating the sacraments and exercising the ministry of charity (diakonia). These duties presuppose each other and are inseparable” (Deus Caritas Est, 25). The service of charity is also a constitutive element of the Church’s mission and an indispensable expression of her very being (ibid.); all the faithful have the right and duty to devote themselves personally to living the new commandment that Christ left us ... (Continue reading)

Veni ad salvandum nos!

He was sent by God the Father to save us above all from the evil deeply rooted in man and in history: the evil of separation from God, the prideful presumption of being self-sufficient, of trying to compete with God and to take his place, to decide what is good and evil, to be the master of life and death. This is the great evil, the great sin, from which we human beings cannot save ourselves unless we rely on God’s help, unless ... (Continue reading)

The Church will become small

From the crisis of today the Church of tomorrow will emerge—a Church that has lost much. She will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning. She will no longer be able to inhabit many of the edifices she built in prosperity. As the number of her adherents diminishes, so will she lose many of her social privileges. In contrast to an earlier age, she will be seen much more as a voluntary society, ... (Continue reading)

Christ’s life was one of sacrifice, not popularity

Dear Brothers and Sisters, This Sunday’s Gospel (cf. Jn 6:51–58) is the concluding part and culmination of the discourse given by Jesus in the Synagogue of Capernaum after he had fed thousands of people with five loaves and two fishes the previous day. Jesus reveals the meaning of this miracle, namely that the promised time had come; God the Father, who had fed the Israelites in the desert with manna, now sent him, the Son, as the true Bread of life; ... (Continue reading)

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