Pope Francis began a new series of catecheses this morning at the weekly general audience and announced that he would be focusing on the Beatitudes that Jesus proposed in his celebrated Sermon on the Mount.

“Dear Brothers and Sisters,” he began. “Today we begin a new series of catechesis on the Beatitudes in Matthew’s Gospel. Jesus’ teaching provides a kind of ‘identity card’ for Christians. Like Moses on Sinai, Jesus gives these ‘new commandments’ from a hillside. He does not impose them but instead proposes them as the path to true happiness in the future that God promises to his faithful people.

Francis explained that “each Beatitude is composed of three parts: the opening word ‘Blessed’, followed by the situation in which those who are called blessed find themselves – poor in spirit, mourning, thirsting for justice – and finally the reason for which they are blessed.”

The Holy Father noted that, “the Beatitudes teach that we are blessed not by our present situation, but rather by the new condition that is ours by God’s grace. This first sermon of Jesus thus presents eight ‘doors’ through which we can encounter the power of God’s love to transform our lives and history. The Beatitudes point us beyond our limitations, tears and failures towards that Paschal joy born of Christ’s own victorious passage from death to life.”

The following photos were taken by EWTN/CNA’s Daniel Ibanez:

Here are the Beatitudes that Pope Francis will be studying in upcoming weeks.

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the land.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the clean in heart,
for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.