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Pope Tells Middle East Students What the Martyrs Teach Us

Giving Some Special Advice, Reminds Them of the Gentle Force of Love

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Students of the Middle East: The Gentle Force of Love

Pope Greets Arabic-speaking Pilgrims

Pope Francis has given some advice to students from the Middle East

During his weekly General Audience in St. Peter’s Square, during his remarks to Arabic-speaking pilgrims, Francis greeted Arabic-speaking pilgrims, but, in particular, “the delegation of students of the Middle East.”

The Holy Father’s catechesis today was on the figure of Saint Stephen in the Acts of the Apostles.

To the students, Francis recommended “the gentle force of love.”

“Dear brothers and sisters,” he said, “martyrs are those men and those women faithful to the gentle force of love, to the voice of the Holy Spirit, who in the life of each day seek to help brothers to love God without reserve,” he said to them.

The martyrs, the Pope said, “teach us that, by the force of love, by gentleness, one can fight against arrogance, violence, war and one can bring about peace with patience.”

Pope Francis concluded, saying: “May the Lord bless you!”

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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, at times from the papal flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has done television and radio commentary, including for Vatican Radio, Sky, and BBC. She is a contributor to National Catholic Register, UK Catholic Herald, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside the Vatican, and other Catholic news outlets. She has also collaborated with the Vatican in various projects, including an internship at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and is a collaborator with NBC Universal, NBC News, Euronews, and EWTN. For 'The Other Francis': or

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