Category Archives: Vatican

At Easter Pope of Hearts calls Christians to be channels of mercy, justice, peace

At Easter Pope of Hearts calls Christians to be channels of mercy, justice, peace

By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — With Jesus’ resurrection “love has triumphed, mercy has been victorious,” Pope Francis said in his first Easter message “urbi et orbi” (to the city and the world).

at easter 2013 pope of hearts calls christians to be channels of mercy, justice, peace www.popeofhearts.com

at easter 2013 pope of hearts calls christians to be channels of mercy, justice, peace http://www.popeofhearts.com

“Let us become agents of this mercy, channels through which God can water the earth, protect all creation and make justice and peace flourish,” the pope said after celebrating Easter morning Mass March 31.

Pope Francis offered special prayers for peace in Syria and the rest of the Middle East, for an end to violence in Africa — especially in Mali, Nigeria, Congo and the Central African Republic — and in Asia, particularly on the Korean peninsula.

at easter 2013 pope of hearts calls christians to be channels of mercy, justice, peace www.Pope-of-Hearts.com

at easter 2013 pope of hearts calls christians to be channels of mercy, justice, peace http://www.Pope-of-Hearts.com

He prayed for “peace in the whole world, still divided by greed looking for easy gain, wounded by selfishness which threatens human life and the family, selfishness that continues in human trafficking, the most extensive form of slavery in this 21st century.”

Pope Francis said he would like to bring the good news of Christ’s resurrection to each person on earth, “to every house and every family, especially where suffering is greatest: in hospitals, in prisons.”

at easter 2013 pope of hearts calls christians to be channels of mercy, justice, peace www.PopeofHearts.net

at easter 2013 pope of hearts calls christians to be channels of mercy, justice, peace http://www.PopeofHearts.net

Easter, he said, “means that the love of God is stronger than evil and death itself; it means that the love of God can transform our lives and let those desert places in our hearts bloom.”

Easter dawned with blue skies and sunshine in Rome, but as the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square, dark clouds began gathering overhead. Still, some 250,000 people gathered for the Mass, and thousands more arrived for the pope’s “urbi et orbi” blessing.

The steps leading to St. Peter’s Basilica and to the altar were decorated with thousands of flowers, trees and bushes. The Dutch flower growers’ association provided 20,000 tulips, 10,000 daffodils and 3,000 white roses in addition to small birch, maple and mulberry trees.

at easter 2013 pope of hearts calls christians to be channels of mercy, justice, peace www.PopeofHearts.org

at easter 2013 pope of hearts calls christians to be channels of mercy, justice, peace http://www.PopeofHearts.org

Like his predecessors, Pope Francis did not give a homily during the morning Mass, but spoke during his “urbi et orbi” address about the significance of the Resurrection for individuals and for the world.

But unlike his predecessors, Pope Francis did not read quick Easter greetings in dozens of languages, although the brief phrases had been prepared for him.

Rather, in his message, he told people, “Jesus is risen, there is hope for you; you are no longer in the power of sin, evil.”

at easter 2013 pope of hearts calls christians to be channels of mercy, justice, peace www.Jorge-Bergoglio.com

at easter 2013 pope of hearts calls christians to be channels of mercy, justice, peace http://www.Jorge-Bergoglio.com

Easter, the pope said, “is the exodus, the passage of human beings from slavery to sin and evil to the freedom of love and goodness.”

However, he said, that passage must be renewed in every age and in every human heart.

“How many deserts, even today, do humans beings need to cross — above all, the desert within, when we have no love for God or neighbor, when we fail to realize that we are guardians of all that the Creator has given us and continues to give us,” Pope Francis said.

“God’s mercy can make even the driest land become a garden, can restore life to dry bones,” he said.

Pope Francis urged people to join him in praying to be transformed by the power of God’s love and mercy and to help “change hatred into love, vengeance into forgiveness, war into peace.”

The morning Mass began less than 12 hours after Pope Francis had finished presiding over the nighttime Easter Vigil, lighting the Easter candle and processing into a St. Peter’s Basilica lit mainly by the flashes of the cameras that people had been asked not to use.

During the Mass, he welcomed into the Catholic Church four men between the ages of 17 and 30. The men from Albania, Italy, Russia and the United States were baptized, confirmed and received their first Communion at the Mass. The 17-year-old from the United States was identified as Anthony Dinh Tran.

In his homily for the vigil, Pope Francis spoke about how the women had gone to Jesus’ tomb with sorrow and love to anoint his body.

But, he said, “something completely new and unexpected happens.”

They find the tomb empty, and they are confused and afraid, the pope said.

“Doesn’t the same thing also happen to us when something completely new occurs in our everyday life? We stop short, we don’t understand, we don’t know what to do,” he said. “Newness often makes us fearful, including the newness which God brings us, the newness which God asks of us.”

Like the women at the tomb, he said, often “we are afraid of God’s surprises,” yet, “he always surprises us.”

“Dear brothers and sisters,” he said, “let us not be closed to the newness that God wants to bring into our lives. Are we often weary, disheartened and sad? Do we feel weighed down by our sins? Do we think that we won’t be able to cope? Let us not close our hearts, let us not lose confidence, let us never give up.”

The risen Jesus is risen for all time, he said, meaning that his is forever victorious “over everything that crushes life and makes it seem less human.”

at easter 2013 pope of hearts calls christians to be channels of mercy, justice, peace www.Jorge-Mario-Bergoglio.com

at easter 2013 pope of hearts calls christians to be channels of mercy, justice, peace http://www.Jorge-Mario-Bergoglio.com

Pope Francis said he knows there are many times in life when it is difficult to believe in the power of God to bring forth new life. It’s easier, he said, to be like the women in the Gospel and “look for the living among the dead.”

The women in the Gospel are told to remember their life with Jesus and the things he had said and done. Only then do they conquer their fear and share the news of the Resurrection with the other disciples.

“To remember what God has done and continues to do for me, for us, to remember the road we have traveled; this is what opens our hearts to hope for the future,” he said. “May we learn to remember everything that God has done in our lives.”

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Source: The text of Pope Francis’ message “urbi et orbi” may be found at http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/messages/urbi/documents/papa-francesco_20130331_urbi-et-orbi-pasqua_en.html.

Pope Francis to live in Vatican guesthouse Domus Sanctae Marthae not in papal apartments Pope of Hearts www.PopeofHearts.com

Pope Franciscus to live in Vatican guesthouse Domus Sanctae Marthae not in papal apartments Pope of Hearts http://www.PopeofHearts.com

The Room of Pope Franciscus is a single apartment in Guesthouse Domus Sanctae Marthae Photo AP dpa www.PopeofHearts.com

The Room of Pope Franciscus is a single apartment in Guesthouse Domus Sanctae Marthae Photo AP dpa http://www.PopeofHearts.com

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis our Pope of Hearts has decided not to move into the papal apartments in the Apostolic Palace, but to live in a suite in the Vatican guesthouse where he has been since the beginning of the conclave that elected him, said Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman.

New Home of Pope Franciscus in Guesthouse Domus Sanctae Marthae Fransic is our Pope of Hearts www.PopeofHearts.com

New Home of Pope Franciscus in Guesthouse Domus Sanctae Marthae Fransic is our Pope of Hearts http://www.PopeofHearts.com

“The Pope of Hearts is experimenting with this type of living arrangement, which is simple,” but allows him “to live in community with others,” both the permanent residents — priests and bishops who work at the Vatican — as well as guests coming to the Vatican for meetings and conferences, Father Lombardi said March 26.

The spokesman said Pope Francis has moved out of the room he drew by lot before the conclave and into Suite 201, a room that has slightly more elegant furnishings and a larger living room where he can receive guests.

The Domus Sanctae Marthae, the official name of the guesthouse, was built in 1996 specifically to house cardinals during a conclave.

Domus Sanctae Marthae from the Dome of St. Peters Home of Pope Franciscus Pope of Hearts www.PopeofHearts.com

Domus Sanctae Marthae from the Dome of St. Peters Home of Pope Franciscus Pope of Hearts http://www.PopeofHearts.com

Celebrating Mass March 26 with the residents and guests, Pope Francis told them he intended to stay, Father Lombardi said. The permanent residents, who had to move out during the conclave, had just returned to their old rooms.

Pope Francis has been there since his election March 13, taking his meals in the common dining room downstairs and celebrating a 7 a.m. Mass with Vatican employees in the main chapel of the residence.

He will be the first pope in 110 years not to live in the papal apartments on the third floor of the Apostolic Palace.

In 1903, St. Pius X became the first pope to live in the apartments overlooking St. Peter’s Square. The apartments were completely remodeled by Pope Paul VI in 1964 and have undergone smaller modifications by each pope since, according to “Mondo Vaticano,” a Vatican-published mini-encyclopedia about Vatican buildings, offices and tradition.

The large living room or salon of the apartment is located directly above the papal library where official audiences with visiting bishops and heads of state are held.

Pope Francis the Pope of Hearts will continue to use the library for official audiences and to recite the Angelus prayer on Sundays and holy days from the apartment window overlooking St. Peter’s Square, Father Lombardi said.

Pope Francis the Pope of Hearts will continue to use the library for official audiences and to recite the Angelus prayer on Sundays and holy days from the apartment window overlooking St. Peter’s Square, Father Lombardi said. www.PopeofHearts.com

Pope Francis the Pope of Hearts will continue to use the library for official audiences and to recite the Angelus prayer on Sundays and holy days from the apartment window overlooking St. Peter’s Square, Father Lombardi said. http://www.PopeofHearts.com

The apartments contain a chapel, an office for the pope and a separate office for his secretaries, the pope’s bedroom, a dining room, kitchen and rooms for two secretaries and for the household staff.

When Pope Francis returned to the guesthouse after his election, Father Lombardi had said the move was intended to be short-term while a few small work projects were completed in the papal apartments. He said March 26 that all the work had been completed, but at least for the foreseeable future, Pope Francis would not move in.

The Domus Sanctae Marthae, named after St. Martha, is a five-story building on the edge of Vatican City.

While offering relative comfort, the residence is not a luxury hotel. The building has 105 two-room suites and 26 singles; about half of the rooms are occupied by the permanent residents. Each suite has a sitting room with a desk, three chairs, a cabinet and large closet; a bedroom with dresser, night table and clothes stand; and a private bathroom with a shower.

The rooms all have telephones and access to an international satellite television system.

The building also has a large meeting room and a variety of small sitting rooms. In addition to the dining room and the main chapel, it also has four private chapels, located at the end of hallways on the third and fifth floors of each of the building’s two wings.

Source: By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service