Pope Urges Faithful to Be Embraced by God's Mercy Which Pardons Everything

During Angelus, Francis Also Prays Mary’s Intercession Transforms Our Lives; Calls for Special Shout Out to Pope Benedict XVI

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«Let’s not be afraid: let us allow ourselves to be embraced by the mercy of God that waits for us and pardons everything. Nothing is sweeter than His mercy. Let’s let ourselves be caressed by God: He is so good, the Lord, and He pardons everything.»

Pope Francis gave this exhortation today at noon to the faithful in St. Peter’s Square during his Angelus address, departing from his scripted remarks. This morning on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Pope Francis opened the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy with a Mass in the Square, which even the Pope Emeritus accepted Francis’ invite to attend.

Reflecting on today being the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, Pope Francis reminded those gathered that the Virgin Mary was never contaminated by sin and always full of God, «is Mother of a new humanity. She is mother of a recreated world.»

In imitation of Mary, he exhorted, we are called to become bearers of Christ and witnesses of His love, looking first of all at those who are the privileged ones in Jesus’ eyes: the poor and marginalized.

Today’s feast, Francis said, communicates a specific message to us, namely that in our life, «everything is a gift, everything is mercy.» The Holy Father prayed that Mary helps us rediscover always more that divine mercy is ‘the distinguishing mark’ of a Christian.

The Pontiff noted that mercy is the fundamental feature of Christ’s face, which one sees this in how Jesus went out to encounter everyone, cure the sick, sit at tables with sinners, and «especially when, nailed to the cross, He forgives.» Here, the Pontiff pointed out, «We see the face of Divine Mercy.» 

Before reciting the midday prayer, the Pope prayed that through Mary’s intercession, may mercy take possession of our hearts and transform our whole life.

Shout out to Pope Benedict

After greeting those gathered, the Pope reminded the faithful in the square that this afternoon he, as is an annual tradition, goes to Piazza di Spagna to pray at the foot of the monument to the Immaculate Conception, and also added that afterward he will go to Santa Maria Maggiore. «I ask you to join me spiritually in this pilgrimage, which is an act of filial devotion to Mary, Mother of Mercy. I will entrust to her the Church and the whole of humanity, particularly the city of Rome,» he said.

«Today,» he went on to say, «also Pope Benedict crossed the Door of Mercy. Let’s send him a salute from here, everyone, to Pope Benedict!»

Pope Francis concluded, wishing all those gathered a happy feast and a Holy Year rich in fruits, with the guidance and intercession of our Mother, «a year full of mercy for all of you, and from you, toward others.» As usual, he reminded the faithful to pray for him, saying he has a great need for the prayers, and wished them a good day and lunch.


On ZENIT’s Web page:

Full Translation: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/angelus-address-on-god-s-mercy-which-awaits-us-pardons-all

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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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