Here is a ZENIT translation of Pope Francis’ address before and after the recitation of the Angelus, to the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
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Before the Angelus
Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
The Fathers of the Church liked to compare the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul to two columns, on which the visible construction of the Church rests. Both sealed with their blood the witness rendered to Christ, with their preaching and service to the nascent Christian community. This witness is brought to light in the Biblical Readings of today’s liturgy, Readings that indicate the reasons by which their faith, confessed and proclaimed, was then crowned with the supreme test of martyrdom.
The Book of the Acts of the Apostles (Cf. 12:1-11) relates the event of the imprisonment and subsequent liberation of Peter. He had already experienced the <existing> aversion to the Gospel at Jerusalem, where he was put in prison by king Herod “intending . . . to bring him out to the people” (v. 4). However, he was saved miraculously and thus was able to bring to an end his evangelizing mission, first in the Holy Land and then at Rome, putting all his energy at the service of the Christian community.
Paul also experienced hostility, from which the Lord liberated him. Sent by the Risen One to many cities, to pagan populations, he met with strong resistance, be it on the part of his co-religionists, be it on the part of the civil authorities. Writing to the disciple Timothy, he reflects on his life and his missionary itinerary, as well as on the persecutions suffered because of the Gospel.
These two “liberations” of Peter and Paul, reveal the common path of the two Apostles, who were sent by Jesus to proclaim the Gospel in difficult, and in certain cases hostile, environments. Both, with their personal and ecclesial events, demonstrate and tell us today that the Lord is always at our side, He walks with us; He never abandons us. Especially in the moment of trial, God gives us His hand, He comes to our aid and liberates us from the threats of enemies. However, we remind ourselves that our true enemy is sin, and the Evil One who pushes us to it. When we are reconciled with God, especially in the Sacrament of Penance, receiving the grace of forgiveness, we are liberated from the bonds of evil and relieved of the weight of our errors. Thus we can continue on our way as joyful heralds and witnesses of the Gospel, demonstrating that we have first received mercy.
We address to the Virgin Mary, Queen of the Apostles, our prayer, which today is especially for the Church that lives at Rome and for this city, of which Peter and Paul are Patrons. May they obtain for us spiritual and material wellbeing. May the Lord’s goodness and grace sustain all the Roman people, so that they live in fraternity and concord, making the Christian faith shine, witnessed with intrepid ardor by the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul.[Original text: Italian] [Translation by Virginia M. Forrester]
After the Angelus
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
This morning, in St. Peter’s Basilica, I celebrated the Eucharist with the five Cardinals I created in yesterday’s Consistory, and I blessed the Palliums of the Metropolitan Archbishops, from several countries, appointed this last year. I renew my greeting and good wishes to them and to all those who accompanied them on this pilgrimage.
I encourage them to continue their mission with joy at the service of the Gospel, in communion with the whole Church. In the same celebration, I received affectionately the Members of the Delegation that came to Rome in the name of the Ecumenical Patriarch, the most beloved brother Bartholomew. This presence is also a sign of the existing fraternal bonds between our Churches.
My warm greeting goes to all of you, families, parish groups, associations and individual faithful from Italy and from so many parts of the world, especially from Germany, England, Bolivia, Indonesia and Qatar. I greet the students of the Catholic schools of Salbris (France), of Osijek (Croatia) and of London.
My greeting goes above all to the faithful of Rome, on the feast of the Holy Patrons of the City! A Great applause to all the faithful of Rome! For this event, the Roman “Pro Loco” has promoted the traditional floral display, made by different artists and volunteers of the Civil Service. Thank you for this initiative and for the beautiful floral representations! And I also want to recall the pyrotechnic spectacle, which will take place this evening in Piazza del Popolo.
I wish all a good feast. And please, do not forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and goodbye![Original text: Italian] [Working Translation by Virginia M. Forrester]