Following his meeting with workers from Turin, the Holy Father made his way to the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, home to the famed Shroud of Turin.
The linen burial cloth bears the image of a man suffering trauma from crucifixion. Although the Catholic Church has neither endorsed nor rejected the belief that is the burial Shroud of Christ, the image is venerated by Catholics around the world as a reminder of Jesus’ sacrifice.
The Pope entered the packed Cathedral filled with elderly priests and cloistered nuns who were there to greet him. He then sat down in silence for several minutes in front of Shroud praying. Following his prayers, he approached the Shroud and touched it.
The Pope was then lead to the tomb of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati. Succumbing to polio at the young age of 24, Blessed Frassati is well known in Turin for his acts of charity and pray towards the poor. He was beatified by St. John Paul II in 1990.
After spending several moments in prayer, the Holy Father departed towards Piazza Vittorio Veneto to celebrate Mass.
The Faithful Love of God
In his homily, Pope Francis reflected on the aspects that define the love of God which he said was faithful, recreates and is stable & secure.
Jesus, he said, embodies the faithful love of God through his death and resurrection.
“Jesus loves us always, until the end, without limits and without measure,” he said. “And He loves us all, to the point that each one of us can say: ‘He gave his life for me’. Jesus’ faithfulness does not give up, even in front of our infidelity.”
Reflecting on the second reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, the Pope said that it served as a reminder of the love of God that “recreates everything.”
In recognizing one’s limits and weaknesses, he said, Christ’s forgiveness can enter and renew.
“Salvation can enter in the heart when we open ourselves to the truth and recognize our mistakes, our sins,” he said. “Now let us make an experience, that beautiful experience of He who has come not for the healthy, but for the sick, not for the just ones, but the sinners.”
While the spirit of the world is always looking for something new, the Pope said that it is only Jesus’ faithfulness that “is capable of true innovation.”
Lastly, the Jesuit Pontiff spoke on the stability and security of God’s love, comparing it to the rocks on the shore that protect from “the violence of the waves.” The Holy Father reflected on today’s Gospel, in which Jesus calmed the storm and commanding the winds and the sea to “be still.”
The Pope said that through this event, Christ opened the hearts of the disciples to the “courage of faith”.
“In front of the man who shouts: ‘I can’t do it anymore’, the Lord meets him, offers the rock of His love, to which everyone can cling to it assured of not falling. How many times we feel that we can’t do it anymore! But He is near us, with His outstretched hand and open heart,” he said.
Concluding his homily, Pope Francis called on the people of Turin and Piemonte to follow in the footsteps of their Saints and Blesseds in order to experience the joy of the Gospel by practicing mercy on those suffering or going through difficulties.
“May the Holy Spirit help us to always be aware of this “rocky” love that makes us stable and strong in the small and great sufferings, may we not close ourselves in front of difficulties, to confront life with courage and look to the future with hope,” he said.