The Pope’s words at the Angelus prayer

Before the Angelus

After the Angelus

At midday today, the Holy Father Francis appeared at the window of his study in the Vatican Apostolic Palace to pray the Angelus with the faithful and pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

The following is the Pope’s introduction to the Marian prayer:

 

Before the Angelus

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

In Italy and in many other countries, this Sunday we celebrate the feat of the Body and Blood of Christ – often the Latin name is used: Corpus Domini or Corpus Christi . Every Sunday the ecclesial community gathers around the Eucharist, the sacrament instituted by Jesus in the Last Supper. However, every year we have the joy of celebrating the feast dedicated to this Mystery, central to the faith, to express in fullness our adoration of Christ Who gave Himself as the food and drink of salvation.

Today’s reading, from the Gospel of St. John, is a part of the discourse on the “ bread of life ” (cf. 6: 51-58). Jesus affirms: “I am the bread which came down from Heaven. [...] The bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh” (v. 51). He means that the Father has sent Him to the world as the food of eternal life, and therefore He will sacrifice Himself, His flesh. Indeed, on the cross Jesus gave His Body and shed His Blood. The crucified Son of Man is the true paschal Lamb, which brings us out of sin and sustains us on the way to the Promised Land. The Eucharist is the Sacrament of His flesh, given to make the world live; whoever is nourished by this food abides in Jesus and lives for Him. To assimilate Jesus means to be in Him, to become children in the Son.

As He did with the disciples of Emmaus, in the Eucharist Jesus is alongside us, pilgrims in history, to nurture faith, hope and charity in us; to comfort us in our trials; to support us in our efforts for justice and peace. This fraternal presence of the Son of God is everywhere: in the cities, in the countryside, in the North and in the South of the world, in countries of Christian tradition and in those in the first phase of evangelization. And, in the Eucharist, He offers Himself as the spiritual force to help us put into practice His commandment to love one another as He has loved us, building hospitable communities open to the needs of all, especially the frailest, poorest and most in need.

To be nourished by Jesus the Eucharist also means to abandon ourselves trustfully to Him and to allow ourselves to be guided by Him. It is about putting Jesus in the place of our “I” In this way the free love received from Jesus in Eucharistic Communion, with the work of the Holy Spirit, nurtures our love for God and for the brothers and sisters we encounter on our path every day. Nourished by Christ’s Body, we become increasingly and concretely the Mystical body of Christ. The Apostle Paul reminds us of this: “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the Blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the Body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one Body, for we all partake of the one bread” (1 Cor 10: 16-17).

May the Virgin Mary, who was always united to Jesus, Bread of life, help us to rediscover the beauty of the Eucharist, to nourish us with faith to live in communion with God and with our brothers.

 

After the Angelus

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The day after tomorrow is World Refugee Day promoted by the United Nations. The theme this year is: “With Refugees. Today more than ever we must be on the side of refugees”. This is the theme. Concrete care must be given to women, men and children fleeing from conflicts, violence and persecutions. We also remember in prayer those who have lost their life in the sea or in exhausting trips over land. May their stories of grief and hope become opportunities for fraternal encounter and true mutual knowledge. Indeed, personal encounter with refugees dispels fear and distorted ideologies, and becomes a factor of growth in humanity, able to make room for sentiments of openness and the building of bridges.

I express my closeness to the beloved Portuguese people for the devastating fire that is affecting forests around Pedrogao Grande causing numerous victims and injuries. Let us pray in silence.

My greeting goes to all of you, Romans and pilgrims, in particular, those from the Seychelles Islands, from Seville, Spain, and from Umuarama and Toledo, Brazil. I greet the faithful of Naples, Arzano and Santa Caterina di Pedara.

A special greeting goes to the qualified representation of the Central African Republic and of the United Nations, in Rome these days for a meeting organized by the Sant’Egidio Community. I carry in my heart the memory of the visit I made in November 2015 to that country and I hope that, with God’s help and the good will of all, the peace process may be fully re-launched and strengthened, along with the necessary conditions for development.

This evening, I will celebrate Holy Mass at the Basilica of St. John Lateran, which will be followed by a procession with the Most Holy Sacrament to St. Mary Major. I invite you all to take part, also spiritually; I think in particular of cloistered communities, the sick and prisoners. Radio and television also help in this.

Next Tuesday I will go on a pilgrimage to Bozzolo and Barbiana, to pay homage to Fr. Primo Mazzolari and Fr. Lorenzo Milani, the two priests who offer us a message of which we are in great need today. In this case also, I thank all those, especially priests, who will accompany me with their prayer.

I wish you all a good Sunday. And, please, do not forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch, and good-bye!