Pope Francis Calls Himself a 'Grandson' of Turin, During Angelus Address

Says Shroud Pushes Us Toward Face of All Those Suffering, Unjustly Persecuted  

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Pope Francis has drawn attention to his Italian roots. In his Sunday Angelus address during his two-day pastoral visit to the northern Italian city of Turin, June 21-22, the Argentine Pontiff called himself a ‘grandson’ of their land. The Pope with family ties to Piedmont pointed out the zeal of the city’s religious, starting with the beloved Don Bosco, and the power of its current treasure: the Shroud of Turin.

After arriving in Turin early this morning, Francis’ first encounter of the day was with workers in a city square, where he was greeted by a farmer, factory worker and business owner. After addressing them, the Jesuit Pope walked to the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, where he prayed before the Shroud of Turin. Many revere the Shroud of Turin as being the burial cloth of Jesus. Afterward, Pope Francis celebrated Mass before some 100,000 people gathered in Turin’s Piazza Vittoria, the city’s main square.

During the Angelus address at the end of the Mass, the Pope said, «The icon of this love is the Shroud, which also, this time, has attracted so many people here to Turin. The Shroud draws [one’s attention] towards the face and the broken body of Jesus and at the same time, it pushes toward the face of every suffering and unjustly persecuted person.»

He noted that «it pushes in the direction of the gift of Jesus’ love,» recalling «‘The love of Christ impels us:» these words of St. Paul which served as the motto of St Giuseppe Benedetto Cottolengo.

Recalling Don Bosco and the bicentennial of his birth, Francis highlighted the holy zeal of the saint’s homeland’s priests and went on to greet the priests and religious with gratitude.

«You strongly commit yourselves to your pastoral work and are close to the people and their problems,» Francis said. «I encourage you to pursue your ministry with joy, always focusing on what is essential in proclaiming the Gospel. And as I thank you, Brother Bishops of Piedmont, for your presence, I urge you to be close to your priests with fatherly affection.»

Pope Francis entrusted Turin and its territory and those who live there to Mary, «so they can live in justice, peace and fraternity.»  In particular, he stressed that he entrusted families, the young, the elderly, prisoners and all the suffering to Her loving care.

The Pontiff also sent a special thought for leukemia patients, recalling today is the National Day Against Leukemia, Lymphoma and Myeloma.

«May Mary Consolata, queen of Turin and Piedmont, make your faith and your hope firm and your charity fruitful and certain,» Francis prayed, «to be «salt and light» of this blessed land, of which I am a grandson.»

Francis’ grandparents immigrated to Argentina from the Piemontese region of Italy. Tomorrow, the Holy Father will meet with his Italian relatives still living in the region.

Following the recitation of the midday prayer, Francis reminded those gathered: «Please, do not forget to pray for me.»

Following Mass, the Holy Father returned to the Archbishop’s residence where he had lunch with young people from a local juvenile detention center, immigrants, homeless, and a gypsy family. Later in the day, Pope Francis will visit  the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of St. John Bosco. 


On ZENIT’s Web page:

Full Translation: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-s-angelus-address-in-turin

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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