On Sunday, Pope Francis realized his wish of visiting the Shrine of Our Lady of Bonaria in Cagliari, located in the Italian island of Sardinia. The Holy Father had announced his intention visit the diocese in May due to the “brotherhood” that exists between Cagliari and his native Buenos Aires, which was founded by sailors from the Sardinian city.
During his homily at an open-air Mass, the Holy Father told the faithful that he came to confirm them in the faith.
“Here too in Cagliari, as in the rest of Sardinia, difficulties are not lacking – there are many – problems and worries: I think especially of the lack of work and of the precariousness and so of the uncertainty of the future,” the Pope said.
“Sardinia, this beautiful region of yours, has for a long time suffered from many situations of poverty, which is also accentuated by its geographical isolation. The loyal cooperation of everyone is necessary, with the commitment of the heads of institutions – including the Church – to secure fundamental rights to persons and families and make a more fraternal and solidary society grow; to secure the right to work, the right to provide bread for your family, bread earned by work!
The Holy Father assured the people of Sardinia of his closeness, telling them that he remembers them in prayer as well as encouraging them to not lose hope.
Reflecting on the Sunday readings, the Holy Father commented on the image of Mary who does not tire of praying, which he referred to as “knocking at God’s door.”
“Every day, through Mary, we bring to God’s heart our whole life! Knock at the door of God’s heart!,” the Holy Father exclaimed.
“Mary teaches us that God does not abandon us, he can do great things even with our weakness. We trust in Him! Let us knock at the door of his heart!”
The Holy Father went on to say that the gaze of God the Father is reflected on the gaze of Mary, who looks on all with tenderness, compassion and care. Invoking the Blessed Mother, Pope Francis asked Her to “give us the gift of your gaze” which is “a gift of the good Father that attends to us at every turn of our journey.”
“We are not alone on the often difficult journey, we are many, we are a people, and the gaze of Our Lady helps us to look with a brotherly gaze upon each other,” the Pope said. “Let us look upon each other in a more brotherly way! Mary teaches us to have that gaze that that seeks to welcome, to accompany, to protect. Let us learn to look upon each other under the maternal gaze of Mary!”
“There are people,” he continued, “whom we instinctively give less consideration but who have greater need of our consideration: the abandoned, the sick, those who lack what they need to live, those who do not know Jesus, young people who are in difficulty, young people who do not find work. Let us not be afraid to go out and look upon our brothers and sisters with the gaze of Our Lady.”
Concluding his homily, Pope Francis called on the faithful to not allow anything to come in between them and the gaze of Mary, especially from “those who have a covetous gaze wanting an easy life.”
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On ZENIT’s webpage:
For the full text of the Holy Father’s homily, go to: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-s-homily-at-mass-during-visit-to-the-shrine-of-our-lady-of-bonaria