.- At the close of his Angelus address today, Pope Francis encouraged those in St. Peter’s Square to pick up a little box of spiritual medicine on their way out.
“I would like now to all of you to consider a medicine. But some may think, ‘the Pope is being a pharmacist now?’ It is a special medicine to make the fruit of the Year of Faith that is coming to a close more concrete,” said Pope Francis Nov. 17, as he raised a little box for the crowds to see.
“This little box contains the medicine, and some volunteers will distribute it to you as you leave the square. Take it! It’s a rosary with which one can pray also the chaplet of Divine Mercy, spiritual help for our souls and for spreading love, forgiveness, and brotherhood everywhere.”
“Don’t forget to take it,” he repeated as the crowds cheered. “Because it does good, eh? It does good for the heart, for the soul, for all of life.”
Pope Francis had earlier emphasized the need for faith and trust in God in the face of life’s difficulties.
Like the apostles in Sunday’s Gospel, many people find themselves worried about losing faith in the last days.
But Jesus reminds his followers, “First: don’t let yourselves be deceived by false messiahs and don’t let yourselves be paralyzed by fear. Second: live the time of waiting as a time of witness and of perseverance,” recounted Pope Francis.
“This discourse of Jesus is always current, even for those of us who live in the 21st century,” the Roman Pontiff reflected. “We are in a time of waiting, of waiting for the coming of the Lord.”
“We remember that we are totally in the hands of the Lord!”
“The adversities that we meet for our faith and our adherence to the Gospel are occasions for witness; they must not distance us from the Lord, but push us to abandon ourselves again and more to Him, to the power of his Spirit and his grace,” he encouraged.
The Pope then spoke of the “many Christian brothers and sisters who are suffering persecution because of their faith.”
“There are many – maybe many more than the first centuries. Jesus is with them and we too are united to them with our prayer and our affection, and we admire them for their courage and their testimony.”
Christians are ultimately hopeful, however, because “at the end, Jesus makes a promise that is the guarantee of victory,” assured Pope Francis.
This promise is “a call to hope and patience, to know to await the sure fruits of salvation, confident in the profound meaning of life and of history: the trials and the difficulties make up part of a grand design.”
“Notwithstanding the confusion and disasters that trouble the world, the design of goodness and of the mercy of God will be accomplished!”
“And this is our hope – go forward like this – this way of the design of God that succeeds is our hope."