Why do images of Saint Martin of Tours almost always show him riding a horse? And why is the Ukrainian saint Josaphat Kuntsevych generally shown carrying a strangely shaped weapon? We Catholics often use holy […]
Vatican City, Mar 19, 2022 / 11:30 am (CNA).
Pope Francis made a surprise visit on Saturday to Ukrainian refugee children being treated in the Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital in Rome.
The children suffering from cancer, neurological diseases, and other illnesses were brought to Italy for medical treatment during the first days of the war in Ukraine.
Some of the hospitalized children suffer from serious blast wounds from the war, according to Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni.
Pope Francis stopped in the hospital rooms to visit all of the children staying in the ward on the afternoon of March 19, the Solemnity of St. Joseph, before returning to the Vatican.
In total, 50 Ukrainian children have been treated in Rome since the outbreak of the war, 19 of which were in the hospital ward on the day of the pope’s visit.
Earlier this week, Pope Francis prayed ahead of his general audience for “all the children who are living under the bombs, who see this terrible war, who have no food, who must flee, leaving home, everything.”
“Lord Jesus, look upon these children, these children, they are the victims of the pride of us, the adults. Lord Jesus, bless these children and protect them. Together we pray to Our Lady to protect them,” Pope Francis said.
Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Feb 2, 2022 / 10:36 am (CNA).
Pope Francis prayed for the Burmese people and for the success of the upcoming Winter Olympics during his general audience on Wednesday.
He first provided a brief catechesis on St. Joseph and the communion of saints Feb. 2, saying that “Even when we rely fully on the intercession of a saint, or even more so that of the Virgin Mary, our trust only has value in relation to Christ. As if the path toward this saint or toward Our Lady does not end there, no. Not there, but in relationship with Christ. He is the bond, Christ is the bond that unites us to him and to each other, and which has a specific name: this bond that unites us all, between ourselves and us with Christ, it is the ‘communion of saints’.”
Devotion to the saints, he said, is “simply talking to a brother, a sister, who is in the presence of God, who has led a righteous life, a model life, and is now in the presence of God. And I talk to this brother, this sister, and ask for their intercession for the needs that I have.”
He shared a prayer to St. Joseph he has recited daily for 40 years, and which he said came from a late 18th century prayer book of the Sisters of Jesus and Mary: “Glorious Patriarch Saint Joseph, whose power makes the impossible possible, come to my aid in these times of anguish and difficulty. Take under your protection the serious and troubling situations that I commend to you, that they may have a happy outcome. My beloved father, all my trust is in you. All my trust is in you. Let it not be said that I invoked you in vain, and since you can do everything with Jesus and Mary, show me that your goodness is as great as your power. Amen.”
After his catechesis, Pope Francis issued appeals for prayers on a multitude of international issues.
“For a year now, we have been watching the violence in Myanmar with sorrow. I echo the appeal of the Burmese bishops for the international community to work for reconciliation between the parties concerned,” said Pope Francis.
Myanmar, which is also called Burma, is home to a small Catholic population. Despite their small numbers, Catholics have played a sizeable role in the protests throughout the country since a military coup seized power last year.
“We cannot look away from the suffering of so many brothers and sisters. Let us ask God in prayer for consolation for this tormented population,” he said. “To him we entrust our efforts for peace.”
Pope Francis noted that the 2022 Winter Olympics begin on Thursday, Feb. 4, and that the Paralympic Winter Games are set to commence on March 4.
“I warmly greet all participants. I wish the organizers every success and the athletes the very best,” he said.
The pope added that the “universal language” of sports can serve as a way of building “friendship and solidarity between individuals and peoples of all cultures and religions.” He said that he is hopeful “that the Olympic Games may bring about a more fraternal world.”
The feats of disabled athletes, said Pope Francis, provide an example that “helps everyone to overcome prejudices and fears” and help to “make our communities more welcoming and inclusive.”
“This is the real gold medal,” he said.
“I also follow with attention and emotion the personal stories of refugee athletes. May their testimonies help to encourage civil societies to open up with ever greater confidence to all, leaving no one behind.”
During the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, a 29-member team of refugee athletes competed under the Olympic flag. However, the Refugee Olympic Team will not be competing at the considerably-smaller Winter Olympics.
“I wish the great Olympic and Paralympic family a unique experience of human brotherhood and peace: blessed are the peacemakers,” he said.
On Feb. 4, the world will acknowledge the second-ever “International Day of Human Brotherhood.”
It is a reason for satisfaction that the nations of the entire world are joining in this celebration, aimed at promoting interreligious and intercultural dialogue, as also called for in the Document on Human Brotherhood and for World Peace and Common Coexistence, signed on 4 February 2019 in Abu Dhabi, by the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Muhammad Aḥmad al-Tayyib, and by myself,” said Pope Francis.
“Brotherhood,” said the pope, “means reaching out to others, respecting them and listening to them with an open heart.”
Pope Francis hopes that in the future, “concrete steps will be taken together with the believers of other religions, and also with people of good will, to affirm that today is a time of brotherhood, avoiding fuelling clashes, divisions, and closures.”
“Let us pray and commit ourselves every day so that we can all live in peace, as brothers and sisters,” he said.
null / null
Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Dec 8, 2021 / 06:01 am (CNA).
Inspired by Pope Francis’ declaration of the Year of St. Joseph, the Knights of Columbus have released a documentary on the Head of the Holy Family, which can now be accessed … […]
Patriarchy has had a ‘bad rap’ in recent years. It seems that no matter what leftist movement we’re talking about, all appear united in a common belief that ‘patriarchy’ is an unequivocal evil which must […]
As we celebrate this official Year of St. Joseph, announced on December 8, 2020 by Pope Francis, Catholics readily join in paying tribute to a great and well-loved saint. Surely Our Lord’s foster-father has always […]