Pope Francis Homilies

Pope Francis General Audience 17.08.22

I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience. Upon you and your families, I invoke the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you!

My thoughts, as always, go to Ukraine: let us not forget that tormented people.

And finally, as usual, my thoughts go to the elderly, the sick, the young and the newlyweds. We celebrated The Solemnity of the Assumption a few days ago. May Mary help each of us to always put Christ and the Gospel in the first place.

My blessing to you all.


Pope Francis General Audience 17.08.22

The alliance between the elderly and the young

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

The words we heard of Daniel’s dream evoke a mysterious, and at the same time, glorious, vision of God. This vision is picked up at the beginning of the Book of Revelation in reference to the Risen Jesus, who appears to the Seer as Messiah, Priest and King, eternal, omniscient and unchanging (1:12-15). He lays his hand on the shoulder of the Seer and reassures him, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold, I am alive forevermore” (vv. 17-18). The Living One reassures us, he gives us security. He too died, but now occupies the place destined for him –the First and the Last place.

In this intertwining of symbols there is an aspect that perhaps might help us better understand the connection of this theophany, this apparition of God, with the cycle of life, historical time, the lordship of God over the created world. And this aspect is specifically connected with old age. How is it connected? Let’s see.

The vision communicates an impression of vigour and strength, of nobility, of beauty and charm. His clothing, his eyes, his voice, his feet – everything is glorious in this vision: it is all about a vision! His hair, however, is white – like wool, like snow – like the hair of an old man. The most widely-used biblical term indicating an old man is “zaqen”, which comes from “zaqan”, and means “beard”. Snow-white hair is an ancient symbol of a very long time, of time immemorial, of an eternal existence. We do not need to demythologize everything for children – the image of a God, who is watching over everything with snow-white hair, is not a silly symbol, it is a biblical image, it is a noble image, even a tender image. The Figure in Revelation that stands amidst the golden lampstands overlaps that of the “Ancient of days” in Daniel’s prophecy. He is as old as all of humanity, but even older. He is as ancient and new as the eternity of God. For the eternity of God is like this, ancient and new, because God surprises us with his newness, he always comes to meet us every day in a special way for us, in that moment. He is always renewing himself: God is eternal, he is from all time, we can say that there is like an old age with God, that’s not true, but he is eternal, he renews himself.

In the Eastern Churches, the Feast of the Meeting with the Lord, celebrated on 2 February, is one of the twelve great feasts of the liturgical year. This feast places emphasis on the meeting of Jesus with the old man Simeon in the Temple, it places emphasis on the meeting between humanity, represented by the watchman Simeon, and Anna, with the little Lord Christ, the eternal Son of God, made man.

In the Byzantine liturgy, the Bishop prays with Simeon: “He is the child born of the Virgin. He is the Word and God of God, the One, who for our sake was incarnate and saved man.” And it continues, “The door of heaven is opened today: the eternal Word of the Father, having assumed a temporal nature, without giving up his divinity, is presented by his will in the temple under the Law by the Virgin Mary, and the watchman takes him in his arms”. These words express the profession of faith from the first four Ecumenical Councils, which are sacred for all the Churches. But Simeon’s action is also the most beautiful icon for the special vocation of old age. Looking at Simeon, we behold the most beautiful icon of old age – to present the children who come into the world as an uninterrupted gift to God, knowing that one of them is the Son generated within God’s own intimacy, before all the ages.

Old age, on its way to a world in which the love that God has infused into Creation will finally radiate without obstacles, must accomplish this gesture performed by Simeon and Anna, before taking its leave. Old age must bear witness – for me this is the core, the most central aspect of old age – old age must bear witness to children that they are a blessing. This witness consists in their initiation – beautiful and difficult – into the mystery of our destination in life that no one can annihilate, not even death. To bring the witness of faith before a child is to sow that life. To bear the witness of humanity too, and of faith, is the vocation of the elderly. To give children the reality that they have lived as a witness, to bear witness. We old people are called to this, to bear witness, so that they might bring it forward.

The witness of the elderly is credible to children. Young people and adults are not capable of bearing witness in such an authentic, tender, poignant way, as elderly people can. It is irresistible when an old person blesses life as it comes their way, laying aside any resentment for life as it goes away. There is no bitterness because time is passing by and he or she is about to move on. No. There is that joy of good wine, of wine that has aged well with the years. The witness of the elderly unites the generations of life, the same with the dimensions of time: past, present and future, for they are not only the memory, they are the present as well as the promise. It is painful – and harmful – to see that the ages of life are conceived of as separate worlds, in competition among themselves, each one seeking to live at the expense of the other: this is not right. Humanity is ancient, very ancient, if we consider time measured by the clock. But the Son of God, who was born of a woman, is the First and the Last for every time. This means that no one falls outside of his eternal generation, outside of his glorious might, outside of his loving proximity.

The alliance between the elderly and children will save the human family. There is a future where children, where young people speak with the elderly. If this dialogue does not take place between the elderly and the young, the future cannot be clearly seen. Can we please give back to children, who need to learn to be born, the tender witness of the elderly who possess the wisdom of dying? Will this humanity, which with all its progress seems to be an adolescent born yesterday, be able to retrieve the grace of an old age that holds firmly to the horizon of our destination? Death is certainly a difficult passage from life for all of us it is a difficult passage. All of us must go there, but it is not easy. But death is also a passage that concludes the time of uncertainty and throws away the clock. This is difficult because this is the passage of death. For the beautiful part of life, which has no more deadlines, begins precisely then. But it begins from the wisdom of that man and that woman, the elderly, who are capable of bearing witness to the young. Let us think about dialogue, about the alliance between the elderly and children, of the elderly with young people, and let us do it in such a way that this bond is not broken. May the elderly have the joy of speaking, of expressing themselves with the young, and may the young seek out the elderly to receive the wisdom of life from them.

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Pope Francis Angelus 15.08.22

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

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

Today, Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Gospel offers us the dialogue between her and her cousin Elizabeth. When Mary enters the house and greets Elizabeth, the latter says: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb” (Lk 1:42). These words, full of faith and joy and wonder, have become part of the “Hail Mary”. Every time we recite this prayer, so beautiful and familiar, we do as Elizabeth did: we greet Mary and we bless her, because she brings Jesus to us.

Mary accepts Elizabeth’s blessing and replies with the canticle, a gift for us, for all history: the Magnificat. It is a song of praise. We can define it as the “canticle of hope”. It is a hymn of praise and exultation for the great things that the Lord has accomplished in her, but Mary goes further: she contemplates the work of God in the entire history of her people. She says, for example, that the Lord “has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty” (vv. 52-53). As we listen to these words, we might ask ourselves: is the Virgin not exaggerating a little, perhaps, describing a world that does not exist? Indeed, what she says does not seem to correspond to reality; while she speaks, the powerful of the time have not been brought down: the fearsome Herod, for example, is still firmly on his throne. And the poor and hungry remain so, while the rich continue to prosper.

What does that canticle of Mary mean? What is the meaning? She does not intend to chronicle the time – she is not a journalist – but to tell us something much more important: that God, through her, has inaugurated a historical turning point, he has definitively established a new order of things. She, small and humble, has been raised up and – we celebrate this today – brought to the glory of Heaven, while the powerful of the world are destined to remain empty-handed. Think of the parable of that rich man who had a beggar, Lazarus, in front of his door. How did he end up? Empty-handed. Our Lady, in other words, announces a radical change, an overturning of values. While she speaks with Elizabeth, carrying Jesus in her womb, she anticipates what her Son will say, when he will proclaim blessed the poor and humble, and warn the rich and those who base themselves on their own self-sufficiency. The Virgin, then, prophesies with this canticle, with this prayer: she prophesies that it will not be power, success and money that will prevail, but rather service, humility and love will prevail. And as we look at her, in glory, we understand that the true power is service – let us not forget this: the true power is service – and to reign means to love. And that this is the road to Heaven. It is this.

So, let us look at ourselves, and let us ask ourselves: will this prophetic reversal announced by Mary affect my life? Do I believe that to love is to reign, and to serve is power? Do I believe that the purpose of my life is Heaven, it is paradise? To spend it well here. Or am I concerned only with worldly, material things? Again, as I observe world events, do I let myself be entrapped by pessimism or, like the Virgin, am I able to discern the work of God who, through gentleness and smallness, achieves great things? Brothers and sisters, Mary today sings of hope and rekindles hope in us: in her, we see the destination of our journey. She is the first creature who, with her whole self, body and soul, victoriously crosses the finish line of Heaven. She shows us that Heaven is within reach. How come? Yes, Heaven is within reach, if we too do not give in to sin, if we praise God in humility and serve others generously. Do not give in to sin. But some might say, “But, Father, I am weak” – “But the Lord is always near you, because he is merciful”. Do not forget God’s style: proximity, compassion and tenderness. Always close to us, with his style. Our Mother takes us by the hand, she accompanies us to glory, she invites us to rejoice as we think of heaven. Let us bless Mary with our prayer, and let us ask her to be capable of glimpsing Heaven on earth.

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Pope Francis Angelus 15.08.22

I wish a blessed Feast of the Assumption to those of you present here, to those who are on vacation, and also the many who cannot afford a period of relaxation, to the lonely and the sick. Let us not forget them! And I think with gratitude in these days of those who ensure indispensable services to the community. Thank you for your work for us.

And on this day dedicated to Our Lady, I urge those who have the opportunity to visit a Marian shrine to venerate our heavenly Mother. Let us continue to invoke the intercession of Our Lady, so that God might give the world peace, and let us pray in particular for the Ukrainian people.

A blessed Feast Day to you all! Do not forget to pray for me. Enjoy your meal, and arrivederci!


Pope Francis August 2022

For Small Businesses

We pray for small and medium-sized businesses; in the midst of economic and social crisis, may they find ways to continue operating, and serving their communities.

As a consequence of the pandemic and the wars, the world is facing a grave socio-economic crisis. We still don’t realize it!

And among those most affected are small and medium-sized businesses.

Stores, workshops, cleaning businesses, transportation businesses, and so many others.

The ones that don’t appear on the world’s richest and most powerful lists, and despite the difficulties, they create jobs, fulfilling their social responsibility.

The ones that invest in the common good instead of hiding their money in tax havens.

They all dedicate an immense creative capacity to changing things from the bottom up, from where the best creativity always comes from.

With courage, with effort, with sacrifice, they invest in life, creating wellbeing, opportunities, and work.

Let us pray for small and medium-sized businesses, hard hit by the economic and social crisis, so they may find ways to continue operating, and serving their communities.

August 2022

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 Angelus 14.08.22

Inflamed with the fire of God’s love

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

In the Gospel of today’s liturgy there is an expression of Jesus which always strikes us and challenges us. While he is walking with his disciples, he says: “I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!” (Lk 12:49). What fire is he talking about? And what is the meaning of these words for us today, this fire that Jesus brings?

As we know, Jesus came to bring to the world the Gospel, that is, the good news of God’s love for each one of us. Therefore, he is telling us that the Gospel is like a fire, because it is a message that, when it erupts into history, burns the old balances of living, burns the old balances of living, challenges us to come out of our individualism, challenges us to overcome selfishness, challenges us to shift from the slavery of sin and death to the new life of the Risen One, of the Risen Jesus. In other words, the Gospel does not leave things as they are; when the Gospel passes, and is listened to and received, things do not stay as they are. The Gospel provokes change and invites conversion. It does not dispense a false intimist peace, but sparks a restlessness that sets us in motion, and drives us to open up to God and to our brothers. It is just like fire: while it warms us with God’s love, it wants to burn our selfishness, to enlighten the dark sides of life – we all have them, eh! – to consume the false idols that enslave us.

In the wake of the Biblical prophets – think, for example, of Elijah and Jeremiah – Jesus is inflamed by God’s love and, to make it spread throughout the world, he expends himself personally, loving up to the end, that is, up to death, and death on the cross (cf. Phil 2:8). He is filled with the Holy Spirit, who is compared to fire, and with his light and his strength, he unveils the mysterious face of God and gives fullness to those considered lost, breaks down the barriers of marginalization, heals the wounds of the body and the soul, and renews a religiosity that was reduced to external practices. This is why he is fire: he changes, purifies.

So, what does that word of Jesus mean for us, for each one of us – for me, for you, for you – what does this word of Jesus, about fire, mean for us? It invites us to rekindle the flame of faith, so that it does not become a secondary matter, or a means to individual wellbeing, enabling us to evade the challenges of life or commitment in the Church and society. Indeed – as a theologian said – faith in God “reassures us – but not on our level, or so to produce a paralyzing illusion, or a complacent satisfaction, but so as to enable us to act” (De Lubac, The Discovery of God). In short, faith is not a “lullaby” that lulls us to sleep. True faith is a fire, a living flame to keep us wakeful and active even at night!

And then, we might wonder: am I passionate about the Gospel? Do I read the Gospel often? Do I carry it with me? Does the faith I profess and celebrate lead me to complacent tranquility or does it ignite the flame of witness in me? We can also ask ourselves this question as. Church: in our communities, does the fire of the Spirit burn, with the passion for prayer and charity, and the joy of faith? Or do we drag ourselves along in weariness and habit, with a downcast face, and a lament on our lips, and gossip every day? Brothers and sisters, let us examine ourselves on this, so that we too can say, like Jesus: we are inflamed with the fire of God’s love, and we want to spread it around the world, to take it to everyone, so that each person may discover the tenderness of the Father and experience the joy of Jesus, who enlarges the heart – and Jesus enlarges the heart! – and makes life beautiful. Let us pray to the Holy Virgin for this: may she, who welcomed the fire of the Holy Spirit, intercede for us.

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Care for Our Common Home - Laudato Si'

Pope Francis Holy Mass 28.07.22

at the National Shrine of Saint Anne de Beaupré, Quebec, Canada

Pope Francis Message for the 55th World Peace Day

Subject Index