Pope Francis today, in yet another picture perfect St. Peter’s Square, in his catechesis, explained the prayer Jesus gave us – the Our Father – centering on “The Fatherhood of God, wellspring of our Hope.”

“Dear Brothers and Sisters,” he began, “In our continuing catechesis on Christian hope, we now consider the source of that hope in the fatherhood of God.  When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, he taught them to call God Our Father. “in fact, said, Francis, “the whole mystery of Christian prayer is summed up here, in having the courage to call God Father.”

The Holy Father said that, “God is a Father but he is not like human fathers; instead, Jesus offers the parable of the prodigal son, where the father welcomes his child with supreme forgiveness and unconditional love. That is perhaps why St Paul, when referring to this mystery, prefers not to translate the term ‘abba,’ which is more intimate than father, and might better be translated as ‘papa’ or ‘daddy’.”

“Here we see the great religious revolution introduced by Christianity: taught by the Saviour’s command, we dare to speak to the transcendent and all-holy God as children speak, with complete trust, to a loving father.

“As God’s adoptive sons and daughters in the Holy Spirit,” explained Francis, “we share in the intimate relationship between Jesus and the Father, and this is the basis of our sure hope in God’s saving help.  Each day, as we pray the Lord’s Prayer, may we be confirmed in the knowledge that, in his merciful love, our heavenly Father will watch over us, respond to our petitions, and never abandon us.

Speaking of prayer: Pope Francis asked the faithful present in the square and those around the world to pray “One Minute for Peace” tomorrow, June 8, at 1 pm. He said, “this represents a short moment of prayer on the recurrence of the meeting in the Vatican between me, the late Israeli President Peres, and the Palestinian President Abbas.”

That meeting occurred in the Vatican Gardens on June 8, 2014, during which the three men prayed together for peace. That meeting followed the Pope’s visit to Jordan, Bethlehem and Jerusalem over a three-day period in May 2014

The Holy Father said this morning that, “in our days, there is a great need to pray – Christians, Jews, and Muslims – for peace.”

Vatican Radio reported that Pope Francis on Wednesday blessed an altar destined for a Marian sanctuary in South Korea during his general audience. The “Adoratio Domini in unitate et pace” will be placed in the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Rosary in Namyang, South Korea. Francis mentioned the altar in his greetings to Polish pilgrims, noting that the request for his blessing of the altar was made by the Queen of Peace Community Association in Radom, Poland.

The association is setting up 12 centers for Eucharistic Adoration and perpetual prayer for peace in “hotspots” around the world. The Pope said the group drew its inspiration for the Adoration centers from the “12 stars in the crown of Mary, Queen of Peace..


The Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development announced today that, from June 8 to 11, Cardinal Peter Turkson, prefect of this Dicastery, will visit Astana, Kazakhstan, as the “Commissioner for participation of the Holy See” at the inauguration of the EXPO 2017 Exposition, “ Future Energy.”

The Holy See, which has participated in the Universal Expositions since 1851, will be present with its own pavilion, entitled “ Energy for the Common Good: Caring for our Common Home,” realized with the contribution from the local Church. It explores the theme of energy for the future, interpreted as an opportunity for the promotion of humanity and the improvement of the “common home” on the basis of an equitable and sustainable use of natural resources.

The display structure of the Holy See makes use of digital installations, and will enable visitors to be accompanied along photographic, artistic, cultural and spiritual itineraries, develops four thematic areas: the love of God as the origin of the creation of man and of the earth; energy as a tool placed in the hands of man, who has not always made adequate use of it; energy directed towards the development of the person and the care of the common home; and the strength of spirituality, with particular reference to prayer, the search for meaning, and interreligious dialogue.

The inauguration of EXPO 2017 will take place on June 9, and that of the Holy See pavilion in the morning of the following day. Cardinal Turkson will be accompanied by Archbishop Francis Assisi Chullikatt, apostolic nuncio in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, and by representatives of the local Church. The Holy See National Day is scheduled to take place on September 2.