Pope Francis Homilies

Pope Francis Regina Caeli  21.04.24  

Today we celebrate the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, which has as its theme "Called to sow hope and build peace." It is a good opportunity to rediscover the Church as a community characterized by an orchestra of charisms and vocations in the service of the Gospel. In this context, I extend my heartfelt greetings to the new priests of the Diocese of Rome, who were ordained yesterday afternoon in St. Peter's Basilica. Let us pray for them!

It is with concern and also with grief that I am continuing to follow the situation in the Middle East. I renew my appeal not to give in to the logic of vengeance and war. May the paths of dialogue and diplomacy, which can do so much, prevail. I pray every day for peace in Palestine and Israel, and I hope that these two peoples may stop suffering soon. And let us not forget martyred Ukraine, the martyred Ukraine which suffers so much because of the war. 

It is with sorrow, that I have received the news of the death, in an accident, of Father Matteo Pettinari, a young missionary of the Consolata in the Ivory Coast. He was known as the "tireless missionary," who left a great testimony of generous service. Let us pray for his soul. 

I wish you all a good Sunday.  Please, do not forget to pray for me. Enjoy your lunch, and arrivederci!


Pope Francis  Regina Caeli   21.04.24

Good Shepherd Sunday

Excerpt below, for the full transcript click on the picture link above

This Sunday, is dedicated to Jesus the Good Shepherd. In today's Gospel (cf. Jn 10:11-18), Jesus tells us that, "The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep" (v. 11). He highlights this aspect so much that He repeats it three times (cf. vv. 11, 15, 17). But in what sense, I ask myself, does the shepherd give his life for the sheep?

Being a shepherd, especially in Christ’s time, was not just a job, it was a way of life: it was not an occupation which took up a defined amount of time, but it meant sharing entire days, and even nights, with the sheep, living- I would say- in symbiosis with them. Indeed, Jesus explains that He is not a hired man who cares nothing for the sheep (cf. v. 13), but a man who knows them (cf. v. 14): He knows the sheep. This is the way things are, He, the Lord, the shepherd of us all, calls us by our name and, when we are lost, He looks for us until He finds us (cf. Lk 15:4-5). Moreover, Jesus is not just a good shepherd who shares the life of the flock; Jesus is the Good Shepherd who has sacrificed His life for us and, has given us His Spirit through His resurrection. 

This is what the Lord wants to tell us with the image of the Good Shepherd: not only that He is the guide, the Head of the flock, but above all that He thinks about every one of us, and that He thinks of each of us as the love of His life. Consider this: for Christ, I am important, He thinks of me, I am irreplaceable, worth the infinite price of His life. And this is not just a way of speaking: He truly gave His life for me, He died and rose again for me. Why? Because He loves me and He finds in me a beauty that I often do not see myself. 

Brothers and sisters, how many people today think of themselves as inadequate or even wrong! How many times do we think that our value depends on the goals we achieve, on whether we succeed in the eyes of the world, on the judgments of others! And how many times do we end up throwing ourselves away for trivial things! Today Jesus tells us that we are always infinitely worthy in His eyes. So, in order to find ourselves, the first thing to do is to place ourselves in His presence, allowing ourselves to be welcomed and lifted up by the loving arms of our Good Shepherd. 

Brothers, sisters, let us ask ourselves: am I able to find the time, every day, to embrace this assurance that gives value to my life? Am I able to find the time for a moment of prayer, of adoration, of praise, to be in the presence of Christ and to let myself be caressed by Him? Brother, sister, the Good Shepherd tells us that if you do this, you will rediscover the secret of life: you will remember that He gave His life for you, for me, for all of us. And that for Him, we are all important, each and every one of us.

May Our Lady help us to find in Jesus what is essential for life.


Pope Francis April 2024

For the role of women

Let us pray that the dignity and worth of women be recognized in every culture, and for an end to the discrimination they face in various parts of the world.

In many parts of the world, women are treated like the first thing to get rid of.

There are countries where women are forbidden to access aid, open a business, or go to school. In these places, they are subject to laws that make them dress a certain way. And in many countries, genital mutilation is still practiced.

Let us not deprive women of their voice. Let us not rob all these abused women of their voice. They are exploited, marginalized.

In theory, we all agree that men and women have the same dignity as persons. But this does not play out in practice.

Governments need to commit to eliminate discriminatory laws everywhere and to work toward guaranteeing women’s human rights.

Let us respect women. Let us respect their dignity, their basic rights. And if we don’t, our society will not progress.

Let us pray that the dignity and worth of women be recognized in every culture, and for an end to the discrimination they face in various parts of the world.

April 2024

Pope Francis  General Audience  17.04.24  

Vices and Virtues - Temperance

Excerpt below, for the full transcript click on the picture link above

Today I will talk about the fourth and final cardinal virtue: temperance. With the other three, this virtue shares a history that goes far back in time and does not only belong to Christians. For the Greeks, the practice of the virtues had happiness as its objective. The philosopher Aristotle wrote his most important treatise on ethics, addressing it to his son Nicomachus, to instruct him in the art of living. Why does everyone seek happiness, even though so few achieve it? This is the question. To answer this question, Aristotle confronts the theme of the virtues, among which enkráteia, that is, temperance, takes a prominent place. The Greek term literally means “power over oneself”. So, temperance is a power over oneself. This virtue is thus the capacity for self-mastery, the art of not letting oneself be overcome by rebellious passions, of establishing order in what Manzoni calls “the jumble of the human heart”.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that “temperance is the moral virtue that moderates the attraction of pleasures and provides balance in the use of created goods”. The Catechism continues, “It ensures the will’s mastery over instincts and keeps desires within the limits of what is honorable. The temperate person directs the sensitive appetites toward what is good and maintains a healthy discretion, and does not follow the base desires, but restrains the appetites” (1809).

Therefore, temperance, as the Italian word says, is the virtue of the right measure. In every situation, one behaves wisely, because people who act always moved by impulse or exuberance are ultimately unreliable. People without temperance are always unreliable. In a world where many people boast about saying what they think, the temperate person instead prefers to think about what he says. Do you understand the difference? Not saying whatever comes into my mind, like so… no: thinking about what I have to say. He does not make empty promises but makes commitments to the extent that he can fulfill them.

Also with pleasures, the temperate person acts judiciously. The free course of impulses and total license accorded to pleasures end up backfiring on us, plunging us into a state of boredom. How many people who have wanted to try everything voraciously have found themselves losing the taste for everything! It is better, then, to seek the right measure: for example, to appreciate a good wine, to taste it in small sips is better than swallowing it all in one go. We all understand this.

The temperate person knows how to weigh words and dose them well. He thinks about what he says. He does not allow a moment’s anger to ruin relationships and friendships that can then only be rebuilt with difficulty. Especially in family life, where inhibitions are lower, we all run the risk of not keeping tensions, irritations, and anger in check. There is a time to speak and a time to be silent, but both require the right measure. And this applies to many things, for instance staying with others and staying alone.

If the temperate person knows how to control his own irascibility, this does not mean we always find him with a peaceful and smiling face. Indeed, at times it is necessary to be indignant, but always in the right way. These are the words: the just measure, the right way. A word of rebuke is at times healthier than a sour, rancorous silence. The temperate person knows that nothing is more uncomfortable than correcting another person, but he also knows that it is necessary; otherwise, one offers free reign to evil. In some cases, the temperate person succeeds in holding extremes together: he affirms absolute principles, asserts non-negotiable values, but also knows how to understand people and shows empathy for them. Shows empathy.

The gift of the temperate person is therefore balance, a quality as precious as it is rare. Indeed, everything in our world pushes to excess. Instead, temperance combines well with Gospel values such as smallness, discretion, modesty, meekness. The temperate person appreciates the respect of others but does not make it the sole criterion for every action and every word. He is sensitive, he is able to weep and is not ashamed, but he does not weep over himself. In defeat, he rises up again; in victory, he is capable of returning to his former reserved life. He does not seek applause but knows that he needs others.

Brothers and sisters, it is not true that temperance makes one grey and joyless. On the contrary, it lets one enjoy the goods of life better: staying together at the table, the tenderness of certain friendships, confidence with wise people, wonder at the beauty of creation. Happiness with temperance is the joy that flourishes in the heart of those who recognize and value what counts most in life. Let us pray to the Lord that He might give us this gift: the gift of maturity, of age, of emotional maturity, of social maturity. The gift of temperance.


The Gospel in your pocket 

How do we receive the Word of God? The response is clear: As one receives Jesus Christ. The Church tells us that Jesus is present in the Scripture, in His Word.

Always carry a small Gospel with you in your purse, in your pocket, and read a passage from the Gospel during the day. Not so much to learn something, but mostly to find Jesus, because Jesus actually is in His Word, in His Gospel.  Every time I read the Gospel, I find Jesus.  - Pope Francis 01.09.14

Daily Readings - read the entire New Testament over a 2 year period (reading plan courtesy of Gideon International)

The Bible Online

Pope Francis  Regina Caeli   14.04.24

Our Encounter with Jesus

Excerpt below, for the full transcript click on the picture link above

Today the Gospel takes us back to the evening of Passover. The apostles are gathered in the Upper Room, when the two disciples return from Emmaus and tell of their encounter with Jesus. And as they are expressing the joy of their experience, the Risen One appears to all the community. Jesus arrives precisely while they are sharing the story of the encounter with Him. This makes me think that it is good to share, it is important to share faith. This account makes us reflect on the importance of sharing faith in the risen Jesus.

Every day we are bombarded with a thousand messages. Many of them are superficial and useless, others reveal an indiscreet curiosity or, worse still, arise from gossip and malice. They are news that have no purpose; on the contrary, they do harm. But there is also good news, positive and constructive, and we all know how good it is for us to hear good things, and how much better we are when this happens. And it is also good to share the realities that, for better or worse, have touched our lives, so as to help others.

And yet there is something we often struggle to talk about. What do we struggle to talk about? The most beautiful thing we have to tell: our encounter with Jesus. Every one of us has encountered the Lord and we struggle to speak about it. Each one of us could say so much about this: seeing how the Lord has touched us, and sharing this, not by being a lecturer to others, but by sharing the unique moments in which we perceived the Lord alive and close, who kindled joy in our hearts or dried our tears, who transmitted confidence and consolation, strength and enthusiasm, or forgiveness, tenderness. These encounters, that every one of us has had with Jesus, share them and transmit them. It is important to do this in the family, in the community, with friends. Just as it does good to talk about the good inspirations that have guided us in life, the good thoughts and feelings that help us so much to go forward, and also about our efforts and labours to understand and to progress in the life of faith, perhaps even to repent and retrace our steps. If we do this, Jesus, just as He did with the disciples of Emmaus on the evening of Passover, will surprise us and make our encounters and our environments even more beautiful.

Let us try, then, to remember, now, a powerful moment of our life of faith, a decisive encounter with Jesus. Everyone has had it, each one of us has had an encounter with the Lord. Let us take a moment’s silence and think: when did I find the Lord? When has the Lord been close to me? Let us think in silence. And this encounter with the Lord, did I share it to give glory to the Lord? And also, have I listened to others, when they have told me about this encounter with Jesus?

May Our Lady help us to share the faith to make our communities ever greater places of encounter with the Lord.


Pope Francis Holy Mass 

Easter Sunday 31.03.24  

Subject Index