Pope Francis Homilies

Pope Francis Angelus 04.06.23 

I assure my prayer for the many victims of the railway accident that occurred two days ago in India. I am close to the wounded and their families. May the heavenly Father welcome the souls of the deceased into his kingdom.

A special greeting goes to the representatives of the Carabinieri, whom I thank for their daily proximity to the population; may the Virgo Fedelis, your Patroness, protect you and your families. I entrust to Her, caring Mother, the populations afflicted by the scourge of war, especially the dear and beleaguered Ukraine.

I greet you all, and I wish you all a blessed Sunday. And please, do not forget to pray for me. Thank you, enjoy your lunch, and arrivederci!


Pope Francis  Angelus 04.06.23

The Feast of the Holy Trinity

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

Today, Solemnity of the Holy Trinity, the Gospel is taken from the Jesus’ dialogue with Nicodemus (cf. Jn 3:16-18). Nicodemus was a member of the Sanhedrin, passionate about the mystery of God: he recognizes in Jesus a divine master and goes to speak to him in secret, in the night. Jesus listens to him, understands he is a man on a quest, and then first he surprises him, answering that to enter the Kingdom of God one must be reborn; then he reveals the heart of the mystery to him, saying that God loved humanity so much that he sent his Son into the world. Jesus, therefore, the Son, talks about his Father and his immense love.

Father and Son. It is a familiar image that, if we think about it, disrupts our images of God. Indeed, the very word “God” suggests to us a singular, majestic and distant reality, whereas to talk about a Father and a Son brings us back home. Yes, we can think of God in this way, through the image of a family gathered around the table, where life is shared. Besides, the table, which is also an altar, is a symbol with which certain icons depict the Trinity. It is an image that speaks to us of a God of communion. Father, Son and Holy Spirit: communion.

But it is not only an image; it is reality! It is reality because the Holy Spirit, the Spirit that the Father poured into our hearts through Jesus (cf. Gal 4:6), makes us taste, makes us savour God’s presence: the presence of God, always close, compassionate and tender. The Holy Spirit does with us what Jesus does with Nicodemus: he introduces us to the mystery of new birth, the birth of faith, Christian life, he reveals the heart of the Father to us, and he makes us sharers in the very life of God.

The invitation he extends to us, we might say, is to sit at the table with God to share in his love. This would be the image. This is what happens at every Mass, at the altar of the Eucharistic table, where Jesus offers himself to the Father and offers himself for us. Yes, that is how it is, brothers and sisters, our God is a communion of love: and this is how Jesus revealed him to us. And do you know how we can remember this? With the simplest gesture, which we learnt as children: the sign of the cross, with the sign of the cross. With the simplest gesture, with this sign of the cross, by tracing the cross on our body, we remind ourselves how much God loved us, to the point of giving his life for us; and we repeat to ourselves that his love envelops us completely, from top to bottom, from left to right, like an embrace that never abandons us. And at the same time, we commit ourselves to bear witness to God-as-love, creating communion in his name. Perhaps now, each one of us, and all together, let us make the sign of the cross on ourselves…

Today, then, we can ask ourselves: do we bear witness to God-as-love? Or has God-as-love become in turn a concept, something we have already heard, that no longer stirs provokes life? If God is love, do our communities bear witness to this? Do they know how to love? Do our communities know how to love? And our family … do we know how to love in the family? Do we keep the door open always, do we know how to welcome everyone – and I emphasize, everyone – to welcome them as brothers and sisters? Do we offer everyone the food of God’s forgiveness and Gospel joy? Does one breathe the air of home, or so we resemble more closely an office or a reserved place where only the elect can enter? God is love, God is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and he gave his life for us, for this cross.

And may Mary help us to live the Church as that home where one loves in a familiar way, to the glory of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

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Pope Francis June 2023

For the abolition of torture

Let us pray that the international community may commit itself concretely to abolish torture, guaranteeing support to victims and their families.

Torture. Oh my God – torture!

Torture is not past history. Unfortunately, it’s part of our history today.

How is it possible that the human capacity for cruelty is so huge?

There are extremely violent forms of torture. Others are more sophisticated, such as degrading someone, dulling the senses, or mass detentions in conditions so inhumane that they take away the dignity of the person.

But this is not something new. Let’s think of how Jesus himself was tortured and crucified.

Let us put a stop to this horror of torture. It is essential to put the dignity of the person above all else.

Otherwise, the victims are not persons, they are “things,” and can be mistreated mercilessly, causing death or permanent psychological and physical harm lasting a lifetime.

Let us pray that the international community commit itself concretely to abolish torture, guaranteeing support to victims and their families.

June 2023

Pope Francis  General Audience  31.05.23  

The apostolic zeal of Venerable Matteo Ricci

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

We are continuing these catecheses speaking about apostolic zeal, that is, what the Christian feels in order to carry out the proclamation of Jesus Christ. And today I would like to present another great example of apostolic zeal: we have spoken about Saint Francis Xavier, Saint Paul, the apostolic zeal of the great zealots; today we will talk about one – Italian, but who went to China: Matteo Ricci.

Originally from Macerata, in the Marches, after studying in the Jesuit schools and entering Society of Jesus in Rome, he was enthused by the reports of missionaries whom he had listened to and he grew enthusiastic, like so many other young people who felt the same, and he asked to be sent to the missions in the Far East. After the attempt by Francis Xavier, another twenty-five Jesuits had tried to enter China, without success. But Ricci and one of his confrères prepared themselves very well, carefully studying the Chinese language and customs, and in the end, they managed to settle in the south of the country. It took eighteen years, with four stages through four different cities, to arrive in Peking, which was the centre. With perseverance and patience, inspired by unshakeable faith, Matteo Ricci was able to overcome difficulties and dangers, mistrust and opposition. Think that, in that time, on foot or riding a horse, such distances… and he went on. But what was Matteo Ricci’s secret? By what road did his zeal drive him?

He always followed the way of dialogue and friendship with all the people he encountered, and this opened many doors to him for the proclamation of the Christian faith. His first work in Chinese was indeed a treatise on friendship, which had great resonance. To enter into Chinese culture and life, he first dressed like the Buddhist bonzes, according to the customs of the country, but then he understood that the best way was to assume the lifestyle and robes of the literati. The intellectuals dressed like university professors, and he dressed that way. He studied their classical texts in depth, so that he could present Christianity in positive dialogue with their Confucian wisdom and the customs of Chinese society. And this is called an attitude of inculturation. This missionary was able to “inculturate” the Christian faith, as the ancient fathers had done in dialogue with Greek culture.

His excellent scientific knowledge stirred interest and admiration on the part of cultured men, starting from his famous map of the entire world as it was known at the time, with the different continents, which revealed to the Chinese for the first time a reality outside China far more extensive than they had thought. He showed them that the world was even larger than China, and they understood, because they were intelligent. But the mathematical and astronomical knowledge of Ricci and his missionary followers also contributed to a fruitful encounter between the culture and science of the West and the East, which went on to experience one of its happiest times, characterized by dialogue and friendship. Indeed, Matteo Ricci’s work would never have been possible without the collaboration of his great Chinese friends, such as the famous “Doctor Paul” (Xu Guangqi) and “Doctor Leon” (Li Zhizao).

However, Ricci’s fame as a man of science should not obscure the deepest motivation of all his efforts: namely, the proclamation of the Gospel. With scientific dialogue, with scientists, he went ahead but he bore witness to his faith, to the Gospel. The credibility obtained through scientific dialogue gave him the authority to propose the truth of Christian faith and morality, of which he spoke in depth in his principal Chinese works, such as The true meaning of the Lord of Heaven – as the book was called. Besides doctrine, his witness of religious life, virtue and prayer: these missionaries prayed. They went to preach, they were active, they made political moves, all of that; but they prayed. It is what nourished the missionary life, a life of charity; they helped others, humbly, with total disinterest in honours and riches, which led many of his disciples and friends to embrace the Catholic faith. Because they saw a man who was so intelligent, so wise, so astute – in the good sense of the word – in getting things done, and so devout, that they said, “But what he preaches is true, because it is part of a personality that witnesses, he bears witnesses to what he preaches with his own life”. This is the coherence of the evangelizers. And this applies to all of us Christians who are evangelizers. We can recite the Creed by heart, we can say all the things we believe, but if our life is not consistent with this, it is of no use. What attracts people is the witness of consistency: we Christians must live as we say, and not pretend to live as Christians but to live in a worldly way. Be careful of this, look at this great missionary – and he was an Italian, wasn’t he – looking at these great missionaries, see that the greatest strength is consistency: they were consistent.

In the last days of his life, those who were closest to him and asked him how he felt, “he replied that he was thinking at that moment whether it was greater the joy and gladness he felt inwardly at the idea that he was close to his journey to go and savour God, or the sadness that leaving his companions of the whole mission that he loved so much, and the service that he could still do to God Our Lord in this mission,” (S. De Ursis, Report on M. Ricci, Roman Historical Archive S.J.). This is the same attitude of the Apostle Paul (cf. Phil 1:22-24), who wanted to go to the Lord, to find the Lord, but to stay “to serve you”.

Matteo Ricci died in Peking in 1610, at 57, a man who had given all his life for the mission. The missionary spirit of Matteo Ricci constitutes a relevant living model. His love for the Chinese people is a model; but the truly timely path is coherence of life, of the witness of his Christian belief. He took Christianity to China; he is great, yes, because he is a great scientist, he is great because he is courageous, he is great because he wrote many books – but above all, he is great because he was consistent in his vocation, consistent in his desire to follow Jesus Christ. Brothers and sisters, today we, each one of us, let us ask ourselves inwardly, “Am I consistent, or am I a bit ‘so-so’?”. Thank you.


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

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Pope Francis General Audience 31.05.23 

I extend a warm welcome to the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially the groups from England, Malta, Nigeria, Indonesia, Malaysia and the United States of America. In a special way, I greet the many groups of university students. Upon you and your families I invoke the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you all!

Finally, as usual, I address the young, the sick, the elderly and newlyweds. Today, the last day of the month of May, the Church celebrates Mary's visit to her cousin Elizabeth, by whom she is proclaimed blessed because she believed the word of the Lord (Cfr. Lk 1:45). Look to her and implore from her the gift of an ever more courageous faith. To her maternal intercession we entrust all those who are tried by war, especially the beloved and tormented Ukraine which suffers so much.

My blessing to all of you.


Pope Francis  Regina Caeli 28.05.23

The Feast of Pentecost

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

Today, the Solemnity of Pentecost, the Gospel takes us to the upper room, where the apostles had taken refuge after the death of Jesus (Jn 20: 19-23). The Risen One, on the evening of Passover, presents himself precisely in that situation of fear and anguish and, breathing on them, says: “Receive the Holy Spirit” (v. 22). In this way, with the gift of the Spirit, Jesus wishes to free the disciples from fear, from this fear that keeps them shut away at home, and he frees them so that they may be able to go out and become witnesses and proclaimers of the Gospel. Let us dwell a little on what the Spirit does: he frees from fear.

The disciples had closed the doors, the Gospel says, “for fear” (v. 19). The death of Jesus had shocked them, their dreams had been shattered, their hopes had vanished. And they closed themselves inside. Not only in that room, but within, in the heart. I would like to underline this: closed inside. How often do we too shut ourselves in? How often, because of some difficult situation, because of some personal or family problem, because of a suffering that marks us or the evil we breathe around us, do we risk slipping slowly into a loss of hope and lack the courage to go on? This happens many times. And then, like the apostles, we shut ourselves in, barricading ourselves in the labyrinth of worries.

Brothers and sisters, this “shutting ourselves in” happens when, in the most difficult situations, we allow fear to take the upper hand and let its loud voice dominate within us. The cause, therefore, is fear: fear of not being able to cope, of having to face everyday battles alone, of risking and then being disappointed, of making the wrong decisions. Brothers, sisters, fear blocks, fear paralyses. And it also isolates: think of the fear of others, of those who are foreign, who are different, who think in another way. And there can even be the fear of God: that he will punish me, that he will be angry with me… If we give space to these false fears, the doors close: the doors of the heart, the doors of society, and even the doors of the Church! Where there is fear, there is closure. And this will not do.

However, the Gospel offers us the remedy of the Risen One: the Holy Spirit. He frees us from the prisons of fear. When they receive the Spirit, the apostles – we celebrate this today – come out of the upper room and go out into the world to forgive sins and to proclaim the good news. Thanks to him, fears are overcome and doors open. Because this is what the Spirit does: he makes us feel God’s proximity, and so thus his love casts out fear, illuminates the way, consoles, sustains in adversity. Faced with fears and closure, then, let us invoke the Holy Spirit for us, for the Church and for the whole world: let a new Pentecost cast out the fears that assail us and revive the flame of God’s love.

May Mary Most Holy, the first to be filled with the Holy Spirit, intercede for us.

28.05.23 rce

Pope Francis Holy Mass 28.05.23 

The Feast of Pentecost  

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