Thursday, 14 April 2016 00:00

Pilgrims in the Year of Mercy before Pope Francis

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VATICAN CITY, Italy.
At the general audience on Wednesday, April 13, in St. Peter’s Square, Maite Uribe, Pablo Moreno and Josemaría Muñoz had the opportunity to give a copy of the film POVEDA to Pope Francis. At the audience, the Pope commented on the Gospel passage on the "call of Matthew" (Matthew 9:9-13).

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Before 8 am, the technical and artistic teams of Contracorriente Proucciones and Goya Producciones, as well as the Governing Council of the Teresian and some members of the Department of Information were about to go through security checks to access the St. Peter’s Square. A large crowd waited, too. With the patience needed for these events, little by little, each group could find their assigned area.

After 9:30 AM, the Swiss Guards and several bishops took their places at the altar. Through the PA system instructions were given and the gospel that Pope Francis would comment on was read: Matthew 9:9-13. A few minutes later the Holy Father entered the square in his popemobile greeting the pilgrims placed along his way.

Once he was at the altar, he spoke on the Gospel text: “Jesus not only invites a tax-collector, a public sinner, to be his disciple, but also sits at table with him, thus scandalizing the Pharisees. The Lord then explains that he has come to call not the righteous but sinners. The calling of Matthew reminds us that when Christ makes us his disciples, he does not look to our past but to the future. We need but respond to his call with a humble and sincere heart. Jesus invites us to sit with him at the table of the Eucharist, in which he purifies us by the power of his word and by the sacrament unites us ever more deeply to himself.” "There is no saint without a past and no sinner without a future," he added, leaving aside the written text.

Before giving the blessing, announced his next visit to Lesbos, with the Patriarch of Greece, "to express my closeness and solidarity with both refugees and citizens of Lesbos and the entire 

 Summary of the Pope’s message at the General Audience (in Italian) 

Video:  commentary on the Gospel (in Spanish)

Text in English, read by a speaker:

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

In our catechesis for this Holy Year of Mercy, we now consider the Gospel account of the calling of Saint Matthew. Jesus not only invites a tax-collector, a public sinner, to be his disciple, but also sits at table with him, thus scandalizing the Pharisees. The Lord then explains that he has come to call not the righteous but sinners. The calling of Matthew reminds us that when Christ makes us his disciples, he does not look to our past but to the future. We need but respond to his call with a humble and sincere heart. Jesus invites us to sit with him at the table of the Eucharist, in which he purifies us by the power of his word and by the sacrament unites us ever more deeply to himself. Citing the prophet Hosea, he tells us that what God desires is “mercy, not sacrifice”, true conversion of heart and not merely formal acts of religion. May all of us, acknowledging our sins, respond more generously to the Lord’s invitation to sit at table with him, and with one another, with immense gratitude for his infinite mercy and saving love.

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Greeting the Pope and delivery of the film POVEDA

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 0413-3After his words, he gave his blessing to those present, extensive to the families and friends, especially children and the sick.  Then the Pope began to greet those who were in the place assigned for him to greet personally.

Maite Uribe, spoke on behalf of the Teresian Association.  She told him about the film on the life of St. Pedro Poveda. Pablo Moreno, director of the film, and Josemaria Muñoz, executive producer, gave him a copy, accompanied by a card given to him by Maite Uribe. The other people who greeted the Holy Father were Lola Martin, vice-president of the TA, and Guillermina Damas, representing the Department of Information. The remaining members of the Governing Council and the Director of the Information Department, Laura M. Moreno, were very near.

The day before, the film POVEDA was screened at the Vatican Film Library. Once again we could feel a positive and exciting welcome from the viewers.

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Both moments were lived by the participants with enthusiasm and a strong faith, aware that they were with the Church, which was so present in the life of St. Pedro Poveda.

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