At the end of the Holy Mass, celebrated in the Vatican Basilica, on the Solemnity of the Lord’s Epiphany, Pope Francis appeared at the window of his study in the Apostolic Vatican Palace to recite the Angelus with the faithful and pilgrims gathered in Saint Peter’s Square.
Here below is a translation of the Pope’s Angelus address yesterday:
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Dear Brothers and Sisters,
On Christmas Eve, we meditated on the hastening of some shepherds, belonging to the Jewish people, to the cave in Bethlehem. Today, the Solemnity of the Epiphany, we recall the arrival of the Magi, who came from the East to adore the newborn King of the Jews and universal Savior and to offer him symbolic gifts. With their gesture of adoration, the Magi witnessed that Jesus came on earth to save not only his people but all peoples. Therefore, in today’s feast our gaze widens to the horizon of the entire world to celebrate the Lord’s “manifestation” to all peoples, namely, the manifestation of God’s love and of universal salvation. He does not keep His love for some privileged persons, but offers it to all. As He is the Creator and Father of all, so He wills to be the Savior of all. Therefore, we are called to nourish great confidence and hope in our dealings with every person and his salvation, including those who seem far from the Lord, who are followed -- or better “chased” – by His passionate and faithful love.
The Gospel account of the Magi describes their journey from the East as a journey of the soul, as a journey to an encounter with Christ. They were attentive to the signs that indicated His presence; they were tireless in facing the difficulties of their search; they were courageous in drawing the consequences of life derived from the encounter with the Lord. The Magi’s experience evokes the journey of every man to Christ. As it was for the Magi, so for us to seek God means to walk, fixing our gaze on heaven and seeing in the visible sign of the star the invisible God who speaks to our heart. The star that is able to guide every man to Jesus is the Word of God: it is the light that directs our path, nourishes our faith and regenerates it. It is the Word of God, which constantly renews our hearts and our communities. Therefore, we must not forget to read it and meditate it every day, so that it becomes for each one of us a flame that we carry within us to guide our steps and also those of one who walks beside us, who perhaps finds it hard to find the way to Christ.
On this day of the Epiphany, our thought goes also to brothers and sisters of the Christian East, Catholics and Orthodox, many of whom tomorrow will celebrate the Lord’s Birth. To them we send our affectionate good wishes.
Then it pleases me to recall that the World Day of Missionary Childhood is observed today. It is the feast of children who live the gift of fatih with joy and pray that the light of Jesus reaches all children of the world. I encourage educators to cultivate in little ones the missionary spirit, so that among them are born witnesses of God’s tenderness and heralds of His love.
We now turn to the Virgin Mary and invoke her protection on the universal Church, so that the Gospel of Christ, Lumen gentium, light of all peoples, is spread throughout the world.
[After the recitation of the Angelus, the Pope said the following:]
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I greet you all, Romans and pilgrims, renewing my wish of peace and every good in the Lord.
I greet the faithful who have come from Aachen, Germany, from Kilbeggan, Ireland, and the students of Northfield, Minnesota, United States of America; the candidates for Confirmation of Romano of Lombardy and their parents; the faithful of Biassono, Verona, Arzignano, Acerra and of some dioceses of Puglia; and the young people of the Don Orione Work.
A special greeting goes to those who give life to the historic-folkloric procession, which this year is dedicated to the territory of the Municipalities of Segni, Artena, Carpineto, Romano, Gorga and Montelanico.
I wish you all a Happy Sunday and good lunch. See you soon!
[Original text: Italian]
[Translation by ZENIT]