Loading
Pope dubs parish 'sentinel' for Rome diocese
Pope Francis speaks to the priests of Rome on Holy Thursday, March 28, 2013 in St. Peter's Basilica. Credit: Pilar Peiro/CNA.
Pope Francis speaks to the priests of Rome on Holy Thursday, March 28, 2013 in St. Peter's Basilica. Credit: Pilar Peiro/CNA.

.- Saints Elizabeth and Zechariah was the first church in the Diocese of Rome that Pope Francis visited, and enthusiasm was high as presided over First Communion for 16 children.

The Pope was welcomed by thousands of parishioners and the pastor, Father Benoni Ambarus, who noted that the parish, located on the northern outskirts of Rome in Prima Porta, can be seen either as the last one in the Rome diocese, or as the first, as a sentinel that guards the door.

“Dear sentinels,” Pope Francis responded off-the-cuff, “I like what you said: ‘That periphery has a negative sense, but also a positive sense.’ Do you know why?”

“Because … we understand reality better not from the center, but from the outskirts,” he answered. 

The Holy Father arrived at the parish via helicopter at 8:30 a.m. and spent time greeting the faithful, the sick and those who were baptized in the past year. He also heard some confessions before celebrating Mass at 9:30 a.m. in the square in front of the parish.

Pope Francis based his homily on both the story of Mary going to visit her cousin Elizabeth and the fact that May 26 was the Feast of the Holy Trinity.

“When Our Lady, had just received the announcement that she would be the mother of Jesus, and also the news that her cousin Elizabeth was pregnant - the Gospel says - she left in haste, she did not wait. She did not say: ‘But now I'm pregnant, should I care for my health. My cousin will probably have friends who will help,”’ he noted.

“She is our Mother, who always comes in haste when we need help,” the Pope said, telling the children and the congregation that she also helps us “understand God well.”

The way that Mary is constantly ready to help us made Pope Francis, remark, “it would be nice to add to the litanies of Our Lady one that says ‘Our Lady who sets out in haste, pray for us!’”

Then the Pope launched into a back and forth dialogue with the children who were about to receive their First Communion, teaching them about the Trinity and counseling them to ask Mary to help them understand God more deeply.

“The Father gave us life; Jesus gave us salvation. He accompanies us, guides us, supports us, and teaches us. And the Holy Spirit? What does the Holy Spirit give us? He loves us! He gives us love,” he summarized.

“Let us think about God like this and ask Our Lady, Our Lady who is our Mother, who is always quick to help us, to teach us to understand how God is: how the Father is, how the Son is, and how the Holy Spirit is.”

During the Mass 16 children received their First Communion from Pope Francis, as well as 28 others who had recently received the sacrament on previous Sundays.

After Mass the First Communicants sang a song to the Pope, which was followed by a time to greet the parish staff before flying back to the Vatican to preside over the Angelus.
 

Tags: Pope Francis


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
23

Liturgical Calendar

April 23, 2014

Wednesday within the Octa ve of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:8-15

Gospel
Date
04/22/14
04/21/14
04/20/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Acts 3:1-10
Gospel:: Lk 24:13-35

Saint of the Day

St. Adalbert of Prague »

Saint
Date
04/21/14
04/20/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 28:8-15

Homily
Date
04/22/14
04/21/14
04/20/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: