Pope Francis 2024

Pope Francis 2024

Pope Francis  January  2024

For the gift of diversity in the Church

Let us pray that the Spirit help us recognize the gift of different charisms within the Christian community, and to discover the richness of different ritual traditions in the heart of the Catholic Church.

There is no need to fear the diversity of charisms in the Church. Rather, living this diversity should make us rejoice!

Diversity and unity were already very much present in the first Christian communities. The tension had to be resolved on a higher level.

But there’s more. To move forward on the journey of faith, we also need ecumenical dialogue with our brothers and sisters of other confessions and Christian communities.

This is not something confusing or disturbing, but is a gift God gives to the Christian community so it might grow as one body, the Body of Christ.

Let’s think, for example, of the Eastern Churches. They have their own traditions, their own characteristic liturgical rites…yet they maintain the unity of the faith. They strengthen it, not divide it.

If we are guided by the Holy Spirit, abundance, variety, diversity, never cause conflict.

The Holy Spirit reminds us first and foremost that we are children loved by God – everyone equal in God’s love, and everyone different.

Let us pray that the Spirit help us recognize the gift of different charisms within the Christian communities, and to discover the richness of different ritual traditions within the Catholic Church.

January 2024

Pope Francis  February  2024

 For the terminally ill

Let us pray that the sick who are in the final stages of life, and their families, receive the necessary medical and human care and accompaniment.

When some people talk about terminal illnesses, there are two words they often confuse: incurable and un-carable. But they are not the same.

Even when little chance for a cure exists, every sick person has the right to medical, psychological, spiritual and human assistance.

Sometimes they can’t talk; sometimes we think they don’t recognize us. But if we take them by the hand, we know they are relating with us.

Healing is not always possible, but we can always care for the sick person, caress them.

Saint John Paul II used to say, “cure if it is possible; always take care.”

And this is where palliative care comes in. It guarantees the patient not only medical attention, but also human assistance and closeness.

Families should not be left alone in these difficult moments.

Their role is decisive. They need access to adequate means so as to provide appropriate physical, spiritual and social support.

Let us pray that the terminally ill and their families always receive the necessary medical and human care and assistance.

February 2024

Pope Francis  March  2024

For the martyrs of our day, witnesses to Christ

Let us pray that those who risk their lives for the Gospel in various parts of the world might imbue the Church with their courage and missionary drive.

This month, I want to tell you a story that is a reflection of the Church today. It is the story of a little-known witness of faith.

Visiting a refugee camp in Lesbos, a man told me, “Father, I am Muslim. My wife was Christian. Terrorists came to our place, looked at us and asked what our religion was. They approached my wife with a crucifix and told her to throw it on the ground. She didn’t do it, and they slit her throat in front of me.” That’s what happened.

I know he held no grudges. He was focused on his wife’s example of love, a love for Christ that led her to accept, and to be faithful to the point of death.

Brothers, sisters, there will always be martyrs among us. This is a sign that we’re on the right path.

A person who knows told me there are more martyrs today than at the beginning of Christianity.

The courage of the martyrs, the witness of the martyrs, is a blessing for everyone.

Let us pray that those who risk their lives for the Gospel in various parts of the world might imbue the Church with their courage and missionary drive. And to be open to the grace of martyrdom.

March 2024

Pope Francis  April 2024

For the role of women

Let us pray that the dignity and worth of women be recognized in every culture, and for an end to the discrimination they face in various parts of the world.

In many parts of the world, women are treated like the first thing to get rid of.

There are countries where women are forbidden to access aid, open a business, or go to school. In these places, they are subject to laws that make them dress a certain way. And in many countries, genital mutilation is still practiced.

Let us not deprive women of their voice. Let us not rob all these abused women of their voice. They are exploited, marginalized.

In theory, we all agree that men and women have the same dignity as persons. But this does not play out in practice.

Governments need to commit to eliminate discriminatory laws everywhere and to work toward guaranteeing women’s human rights.

Let us respect women. Let us respect their dignity, their basic rights. And if we don’t, our society will not progress.

Let us pray that the dignity and worth of women be recognized in every culture, and for an end to the discrimination they face in various parts of the world.

April 2024