POPE FRANCIS PRESIDES MASS FOR DECEASED CARDINALS
As is traditional every year in the first days of November that honor All Saints and All Souls, Pope Francis this morning presided at Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica for the souls of cardinals and bishops who died during this last year. “In this earth they loved their bride the Church, and we pray that in God they may enjoy full joy in the communion of saints,” he said.
“As we ask that they be rewarded as ‘good and faithful servants’,” he added, “we are called up to renew our decision to serve the Church. … Those who serve and give may be seen to ‘lose’ in the eyes of the world, but in reality, losing life, they rediscover it. A life given away in love, imitates Christ: it defeats death and gives life to the world. He who serves, saves. On the contrary, he who does not live to serve, does not serve to live.”
Francis explained that, “this is how the Son of God lowered Himself to us, stooping like a servant to take on all that is ours, to the point of throwing open the doors to life. … This style of God – Who saves us by serving us and annihilating Himself – has much to teach us. We imagine a triumphal divine victory; instead Jesus shows us a very humble victory. Raised on the cross, He lets evil and death beset him, while He continues to love. For us it is difficult to accept this. It is a mystery, but the secret of this mystery, of this extraordinary humility, consists entirely in the strength of love.”
“In this way,” stated the Pope, “Jesus not only takes away evil, but also transforms it into good. He does not change things with words, but with actions; not in appearance, but in substance; not on the surface, but at the root. He transforms the cross into a bridge to life. We too can be victorious with Him, it we choose dutiful and humble love, that remains victorious for eternity. It is a love that does not shout and does not impose itself, but rather knows how to wait with trust and patience since, as the Book of Lamentations reminds us, “it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord”.
“As we offer this Mass for the our dear brother cardinals and bishops, let us ask for ourselves what the apostle Paul exhorts us to do: ‘Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things’. May the resurrection of the Lord be enough to let us be free of the worries of ephemeral things, that pass and vanish into nothing. May He be enough for us, He in whom there is life, salvation, resurrection and joy. Then we will be servants according to His heart, not functionaries who offer their services, but rather beloved children who give their life for the world.”
PAPAL TELEGRAM FOR VICTIMS OF BUCHAREST DISCO FIRE
Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin has sent a telegram of condolences on behalf of Pope Francis to Romania’s President Klaus Werner Iohannis, following a fire in a discotheque in Bucharest last weekend in which 27 people died and over 180 were injured. The Holy Father expressed “his profound sadness for the tragic accident in which so many young people lost their lives, and assures his spiritual closeness to the families of the victims, the government authorities and the entire nation, entrusting the deceased to the mercy of the Lord.” (VIS)
HOLY SEE PAVILION AT EXPO WINS PRIZE
(Vatican Radio) The Holy See’s Pavilion at the Expo Milano 2015 has won the first prize for pavilions under 2000 square metres that best represented the theme of the Expo: “Feeding the planet. Energy for Life.” Expo ended last Saturday after running in the northern Italian city for six months.
“It is the recognition of the spirited work done during these six months,” said Msgr. Luca Bressan, who serves as an Episcopal Vicar for the archdiocese of Milan. “It also shows that the communicative power of Pope Francis has been able to make inroads in the large public square which was the world Expo.”
Monsignor Bressan accepted the award from the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), which promotes the Universal Expositions.
The Pavilion of the Holy See expounded on the double meaning of food as nourishment for both the body and the soul, developing the two biblical quotes “Not by bread alone” and “Give us this day our daily bread,” which were translated into 13 languages on the outside of the Pavilion.
Inside the Pavilion, five scenes represented the following four themes: Ecology, the economy-fair trade, education and religion-theology. The exhibition also featured two classic works of art: Tintoretto’s Last Supper and Rubens’ Institution of the Eucharist.
During the Exhibition, 1.8 million people visited the Holy See’s Pavilion, and €150,000 were collected for women and children in Middle Eastern refugee camps. The Pavilion also distributed 1 million magnets bearing the picture of Pope Francis, as well as 10 thousand copies of the Papal Encyclical Laudato Si’.
The next Universal Expo will take place in 2020 in Dubai.
A video tour of the Holy See Pavilion is available here: https://youtu.be/Io8xGF6_t_w