Pope Francis delivered his Angelus message to the crowds filling an overcast St. Peter’s Square on Sunday, encouraging them to seek God in prayer to increase their faith.
“How do we obtain this power (of faith)?” he asked Oct. 6.
“We obtain it from God in prayer. Prayer is the breath of faith: in a relationship of faith, of love, one can’t omit dialogue, and prayer is the dialogue of the soul with God.”
Sunday’s Gospel recounted the story of the disciples who asked God to increase their faith.
“I think that all of us can make this our plea,” reflected Pope Francis.
He went on to have the crowds repeat the prayer together with him: “Lord, increase our faith.”
Our faith does not need to be large, “because Jesus says that it is enough to have a faith like this,” said Pope Francis, indicating a tiny space between his thumb and forefinger, “small, but true, sincere, to do humanly impossible, unthinkable things.”
“And it’s true,” he continued. “We all know simple, humble people, but who have a very strong faith, that can really move mountains!”
Even if our faith is very tiny, like a mustard seed, it has the power to “give witness.”
“Each one of us, in our own lives, every day, can give witness to Christ, with the power of God, the power of faith.”
“Be a Christian with your life,” exhorted the Roman Pontiff.
After the Angelus prayer the Pope noted that on Saturday, Rolando Rivi, a martyred Italian seminarian, was beatified. Blessed Rivi was killed at age 14 for wearing a cassock in the particularly anti-clerical period of 1945.
“How many young people 14 years old today have before their eyes this example, a courageous young man who knew where he must go, who knew in his heart the love of Jesus, and gave his life for him?”
Rivi, he said, is “a beautiful example for young people.”
The Pope then asked for a moment of silent prayer for the victims of the Oct. 3 Lampedusa boat tragedy in which over 100 African migrants died and more than 200 remain unaccounted for.
“Let us all pray in silence for these brothers and sisters: men, women, and children. Let us cry in our hearts. Let us pray in silence.”