“Tomorrow in Pompeii the traditional supplication of Our Lady of the Rosary will be raised, in that Shrine that Blessed Bartolo Longo wanted to dedicate to peace. In this month of May we pray the Rosary asking the Holy Virgin for the gift of peace, especially for the tormented Ukraine “, Pope Francis said at the Regina Coeli. “May the leaders of nations listen to the wishes of people who suffer and want peace”, the Pontiff added.
Pope Francis: “Our homeland is in heaven”
“When we experience fatigue, bewilderment and even failure, we remember where our life is headed. We must not lose sight of the goal, even if today we run the risk of forgetting it, of forgetting the final questions, the important ones: where are we going? Where do we walk to? What is it worth living for?”, instead affirmed Pope Francis from the window of his study in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, before the recitation of the Regina Caeli with the faithful in St. Peter’s Square. “Without these questions, we crush life only on the present, we think that we must enjoy it as much as possible and we end up living hand to mouth, without a goal, without a goal – added – the Pontiff – Our homeland, however, is in heaven, let us not forget the grandeur and beauty of the destination. Once we have discovered the destination, we too, like the Apostle Thomas in today’s Gospel, ask ourselves: how to go there? Sometimes, especially when there are big problems to face and there is the feeling that evil is stronger, one wonders: what should I do, which path should I follow? Let us listen to Jesus’ answer: ‘I am the way, the truth and the life’. Jesus himself is the way to follow in order to live in truth and have life in abundance. He is the way and therefore faith in him is not a ‘package of ideas’ to believe, but a road to travel, a journey to be made, a journey with him. It is following Jesus, because he is the way that leads to happiness that does not set. It is to imitate him, especially with gestures of closeness and mercy towards others. Here is the compass to reach Heaven: to love Jesus, the way, becoming signs of his love for him on earth’ – Brothers and sisters – continued Bergoglio – let us live in the present but let us not let ourselves be overwhelmed by the present; let us look up to Heaven, let us remember our goal, let us think that we are called to eternity, to an encounter with God. And, from Heaven to our hearts, let us renew today the choice of Jesus, the choice to love him and to walk after him. May the Virgin Mary, who by following Jesus has already reached her goal, sustain our hope”.
The Pope’s Speech
For his speech, the Pope took his cue ”from Jesus’ last speech before his death”. ”The disciples’ hearts are troubled, but the Lord speaks to them reassuring words, inviting them not to be afraid: in fact, he is not abandoning them, but is going to prepare a place for them and guide them towards that goal – explained Pope Francis – The Lord today thus indicates to all of us the wonderful place to go, and, at the same time, tells us how to go there, shows us the way forward. He tells us where to go and how to go there. First, where to go. Jesus sees the disturbance of the disciples, their fear of being abandoned, just as it happens to us when we are forced to separate ourselves from someone we love. And then he says: ‘I’m going to prepare a place for you […], because where I am you are also’. Jesus uses the familiar image of the home, a place of relationships and intimacy. In the Father’s house, he says to his friends and to each of us, there is room for you, you are welcome, you will be welcomed forever by the warmth of a hug, and I am in heaven to prepare a place for you! Brothers and sisters, these words are a source of consolation and hope. Jesus did not separate himself from us but he paved the way for us, anticipating our final destination: the encounter with God the Father, in whose heart there is a place for each of us”.
Two new blesseds in Uruguay and Spain
“Yesterday two beatifications were celebrated”, recalled Bergolgio. “In Montevideo, Uruguay – he continued – Bishop Jacinto Vera, who lived in the second half of the 19th century, was beatified. A pastor who took care of his people, he bore witness to the Gospel with generous missionary zeal, promoting social reconciliation in the tense climate of the civil war “. “In Granada, Spain – she added – the young María de la Concepción Barrecheguren García was beatified. Bedridden by a serious illness, she bore her sufferings with great spiritual strength, arousing admiration and consolation in all. She died in 1927 at age 22”. “An applause to the two blessed”, concluded the Pontiff, addressing the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square.