I posted a separate story on my Facebook page about today’s commemorative Mass in Rome to mark the third anniversary of the death of Mother Angelica, foundress of EWTN. (facebook.com/joan.lewis.10420)
POPE FRANCIS’ CATECHESIS ON THE OUR FATHER
In Wednesday’s general audience, Pope Francis continued his catechesis on the Our Father, focussing on the petition: “Give us this day our daily bread,” and saying this is where we present our needs to God.
“Give us this day our daily bread,” said Francis, reminds us that we are not self-sufficient. Prayer, he said, “begins with our daily concerns, our most pressing, concrete necessities of life,” and he invited the faithful to consider this prayer from the point of view of those who are in real need: “How many mothers, and how many fathers, even today, go to sleep with the anguish of not having sufficient bread for their children for the next day?” Seen from this perspective, “the words of Jesus take on new force.”
The Pope explained that, “with the request for ‘our daily bread’, rather than my daily bread, the ‘Our Father’ includes in itself an ‘attitude of empathy, an attitude of solidarity.” In this way, Jesus teaches us to present the needs of everyone to the Father.
The Pope then told the Gospel story of the feeding of the five thousand. The multiplication of the loaves and fishes was a true miracle, he said; but the greater miracle was the sharing. The young boy who shared his bread and fish “had understood the lesson of the ‘Our Father’, namely “that food is not private property… but providence to be shared, with the grace of God.”
In this miracle, Francis concluded, Jesus anticipated the offering of Himself in the Holy Eucharist: “Only the Eucharist,” he said, “is able to satisfy the hunger for the infinite and the desire for God that animates every human person, even in the search for daily bread.”
POPE HONORS ITALIAN MISSIONARY NUN AT GENERAL AUDIENCE
Pope Francis on Wednesday honored Sr. Maria Concetta Esu for her tireless work as a midwife in Africa over the past 60 years.
By Lydia O’Kane (vaticannews)
Sister Maria Concetta Esu is an Italian nun who for almost 60 years has devoted her life to missionary work in Africa. In her profession as a midwife, Sister Concetta has delivered thousands of babies and at 85 her commitment to children, mothers and families continues.
In recognition of her tireless efforts, Pope Francis at the end of his general audience on Wednesday, honored this Sister from the Congregation of the Daughters of St. Joseph of Genoni, telling her this accolade was “a sign of our affection and our ‘thanks’ for all the work you have done in the midst of our African brothers and sisters, in the service of life…”
The Pope told the pilgrims present that he had met Sr Maria Concetta in Bangui in the Central African Republic during his visit to open the Jubilee of Mercy in 2015, adding, “that day, too, she came from Congo in a canoe, … to do her shopping in Bangui.”
While honoring this religious sister, the Pontiff also took the opportunity to express his gratitude to all the missionaries, priests, religious and laity, who, he said, may not make the news, but “sow the seeds of the Kingdom of God in every part of the world.”
The Pope also spoke of Brazilian Cardinal Cláudio Hummes, who he recounted “goes to the cemetery and visits the graves of missionaries; many young people who have died from diseases…” Pope Francis said that the Cardinal told him, ‘they all deserve to be canonized’, because their life has been ‘consumed’ in service.
Sister Maria Concetta, who is in Rome for a meeting with her Congregation, is due to return to Africa to continue her work. Bidding her farewell, Pope Francis said, “Let us accompany her with prayer. And may her example help us all to live the Gospel wherever we are.”
POPE FRANCIS PRAYS FOR FLOOD VICTIMS IN IRAN
Pope Francis conveyed his solidarity to the people of Iran after devastating floods that have caused many deaths and extensive damage.
By Linda Bordoni (vaticannews)
Pope Francis expressed his sorrow for the loss of life, injury and damage caused by flash floods in northern Iran that have killed at least 26 people.
In a telegram, signed on his behalf by the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Pope Francis on Wednesday conveyed his heartfelt solidarity with all those affected and said he is praying for the deceased.
The floods are being described as an “unprecedented natural disaster”. Rescuers are still searching for survivors and hundreds have reportedly been injured in the country that is more accustomed to drought than to rain.
In his message, the Pope also said he is praying for the emergency personnel involved in rescue efforts and assured the people of Iran that he has invoked divine blessings of consolation and strength on those who grieve.
Meanwhile, President Hassan Rouhani, who is accused by critics of mishandling the crisis, travelled to flooded areas to inspect the damage and promised compensation to all those affected.
Tuesday’s torrential rain struck 25 of Iran’s 31 provinces, and the scale of the disaster has reportedly overwhelmed emergency services in some areas.
Tens of thousands of people have been displaced and thousands are being housed in emergency shelters.
POPE TO VISIT MOZAMBIQUE, MADAGASCAR AND MAURITIUS
A Holy See Press Office statement reveals Pope Francis will undertake an apostolic journey to Mozambique, Madagascar and Mauritius in September.
By Linda Bordoni (vaticannews)
Pope Francis will travel to the Indian Ocean islands of Madagascar and Mauritius and to the Southeast African nation of Mozambique in September 2019.
In a statement on Wednesday, Holy See Press Office interim director Alessandro Gisotti, revealed that the journey is scheduled to take place from 4 to 10 September.
He said the Pope will visit the cities of Maputo in Mozambique, Antananarivo in Madagascar and Port Louis in Mauritius. The program for the visit will be published in due time.
Pope Francis travels to the three nations as a pilgrim of peace, hope and reconciliation, all themes that are reflected in the official logos of the journey.