Vatican City, Dec 26, 2015 / 09:01 am
For Pope Francis, the path forward from Christmas can be found in the martyrdom of St. Stephen, especially in his transforming forgiveness of his persecutors.
"If we want to move forward in faith, first of all we must receive the forgiveness of God. We must meet the Father, who is ready to forgive everything and always," Pope Francis told a crowd gathered in St. Peter's Square before the Angelus prayers Saturday.
Forgiveness "heals the heart and revives love," he added. "We must never tire of asking God's forgiveness, because only when we are forgiven--when we feel forgiven--we learn to forgive."
The Pope's Dec. 26 remarks reflected on the martyrdom of St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr, whose feast day falls on the day after Christmas.