VATICAN INSIDER: INTERVIEWS IN A TIME OF QUARANTINE – POPE’S APRIL PRAYER INTENTION: “LIBERATION FROM ADDICTIONS” – FROM CHINESE CATHOLICS: “HOLY FATHER, TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF”

VATICAN INSIDER: INTERVIEWS IN A TIME OF QUARANTINE

I welcome listeners to a new edition of Vatican Insider by noting that this Palm Sunday weekend around the world will be a weekend marked by empty churches because of the coronavirus quarantines in place in almost all countries of the world. However, because of wonderful technology available today, thousands, surely tens of thousands of Masses will be streamed live into the homes of tens of millions.

It is thanks to great technology that I bring you “Vatican Insider” each weekend but even the best of technology does not allow me to leave my home for interviews in this tumultuous period of Covid-19.

Because of mandatory restrictions on movements outside of one’s home, except for medical emergencies and necessary basics like food and medicine, I’ve not been able these last weeks to go out and interview guests for the interview segment of VI. Until conditions allow me to do that, we will be re-airing some previous Specials I did, including visits to the seven pilgrim churches of Rome – and that includes the four papal basilicas.

However, because we still are in Lent, this week’s Special is a profile of Rome’s celebrated Lenten Station Churches.

The first station church – Santa Sabina

I will continue to bring you the News segment and a Q&A every weekend when time allows. Thanks so much for your patience under the circumstances! I am hoping you can use the podcasts of these visits in and around Rome for the day you are finally able to visit the Eternal City again!

IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at http://www.ewtn.com) or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio, or on http://www.ewtn.com. OUTSIDE THE U.S., you can listen to EWTN radio on our website home page by clicking on the right side where you see “LISTEN TO EWTN.” VI airs at 5am and 9pm ET on Saturdays and 6am ET on Sundays. On the GB-IE feed (which is on SKY in the UK and Ireland), VI airs at 5:30am, 12 noon and 10pm CET on Sundays. Both of these feeds are also available on the EWTN app and on http://www.ewtnradio.net ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: http://www.ewtn.com/multimedia/audio-library/index.asp (write Vatican Insider where it says Search Shows and Episodes)

POPE’S APRIL PRAYER INTENTION: “LIBERATION FROM ADDICTIONS”

Pope Francis on Thursday released a video message accompanying his prayer intention for April, which is that “those suffering from addiction may be properly helped and accompanied.”

In his prayer intention for April 2020, Pope Francis asks everyone to pray for those who suffer from addiction, especially addiction to gambling, pornography, and the internet. It has become the custom of Pope Francis to release a video message detailing his prayer intention for each month.

That text follows:
“Surely, you’ve heard about the drama of addiction. And, have you also thought about the addiction to gambling, to pornography, to the Internet – and the dangers of virtual space? Supported by the ‘Gospel of Mercy’ we can alleviate, care for and heal the suffering associated with new kinds of addiction. We pray that those suffering from addiction may be properly helped and accompanied.” (source: vaticannews:
https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2020-04/pope-francis-prayer-intention-april-2020-addictions.html)

FROM CHINESE CATHOLICS: “HOLY FATHER, TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF”

Beijing (Agenzia Fides) – “Holy Father, during the epidemic, may you also have your person at heart. Do it for us, 1.3 billion Catholics around the world. Please take care of yourself too!” This is the recommendation that Chinese Catholics address to Pope Francis from the bottom of their hearts. An open letter addressed to the Bishop of Rome and published today on Xinde Press (“Faith”) website, the widest platform for Chinese Catholic communication.

“The same recommendation” reads the letter, “we would like to extend to those who administer Casa Santa Marta and its secretaries: may they take care of the Pope, in this difficult period, and watch over the safety distances when he has to meet visitors. And if he must necessarily receive someone or participate in events with other people, we hope very much that the Pope will also wear a mask.”

In the words of the letter addressed to the Pope one perceives the loving concern of those who also care about the health of a person they love so much, at a time when danger is incumbent on everyone. As a gesture of faith and communion, countless Chinese Catholics remained awake or woke up on purpose in the middle of the night to follow via internet the extraordinary act of prayer in times of epidemic presided over by Pope Francis on Friday 27 March in St. Peter’s Square (in Beijing it was already one 1 am, Saturday 28 March). A large number of them are following the Pope’s spiritual suggestions every day (reciting the rosary, novena, daily prayers) to live their own Lenten spiritual journey in this time devastated by the global health emergency.

The aid collected with the coordination of Jinde Charity – as well as that sent by other communities and private citizens – is arriving in Italy and in the Vatican with the logistical support of the Italian embassy in Beijing and the Italian Foreign Ministry, which has made it possible to coordinate and organize the air transport of the collected aid. On March 28, the second shipment of aid sent by Chinese Catholics arrived at Malpensa airport (Milan), for a total value of 450,000 euros.

Through the Vatican Pharmacy, the aid was distributed to the Office of the pastoral care of the Vicariate of Rome (10,000 N95 model masks, over 500,000 disposable masks, 27,000 surgical gloves, 8,000 coveralls and 6,000 protective glasses). Large quantities of the same health devices were sent to the Diocese of Macerata, to Gemelli Hospital of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, and to the field hospital of the National Alpine Association. The first shipment of medical devices was shipped thanks to the collections of Chinese Catholics (that) had arrived in Italy two weeks ago, in which case the protective equipment had been taken over and redistributed by Caritas Ambrosiana, in the archdiocese of Milan and in Lombardy, epicenter of the pandemic. Now the third shipment is ready to leave Beijing with the first available direct flights to Italy.

Since the first outbreak of the Covid-19 epidemic, Pope Francis has publicly shown his closeness to the Chinese population heavily affected by the virus also with direct references expressed at the end of the Wednesday general audience or after the recitation of the Sunday Angelus. As confirmed by Mgr. Segundo Tejado Muñoz, Undersecretary of the Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development, quoted by Xinde Press, “through Jinde Charity, Pope Francis donated 200,000 euros unconditionally to China for prevention/epidemic projects and assistance for the elderly, to express his love for the Chinese people”.

FOR MORE: http://www.fides.org/en/news/67680-ASIA_CHINA_Covid_19_emergency_help_arrives_at_the_Vatican_and_a_letter_from_Chinese_Catholics_Holy_Father_take_care_of_yourself

IN BRIEF – FEBRUARY PAPAL PRAYER INTENTION: HEAR THE CRIES OF MIGRANTS

I think most everyone got the memo about wearing a blue suit to the conference with global finance leaders that the Pope addressed yesterday!

IN BRIEF

POPE FRANCIS THURSDAY ADDRESSED THE GLOBAL ASSOCIATION of the Exhibition Industry (UFI) and said that fairs and exhibits offer significant opportunities for showcasing to the wider world the rich diversity and beauty of local cultures and ecosystems. The UFI is an international network of the world’s leading tradeshow organizers and fairground owners. The Association is in Rome on the occasion of its global executive summit. Francis said this morning that “global exhibitions contribute to the growth of a culture of encounter, that strengthens bonds of solidarity and fosters mutual enrichment between the members of our human family.” The Pope highlighted that in the case of their area of expertise, “it has been shown that fairs and exhibitions not only have positive effects on regional economies and labour markets, but also offer significant opportunities for showcasing to the wider world the rich diversity and beauty of local cultures and ecosystems.” (vaticannews)

POPE URGES GLOBAL FINANCE LEADERS TO REDUCE ECONOMIC INEQUALITY as he addressed finance ministers from France, Argentina, Mexico, Paraguay, and El Salvador; a Nobel economics laureate; and the director of the International Monetary Fund, among others, who attended a Vatican workshop on Wednesday entitled “New Forms of Solidarity.” He called on the architects of the global financial system to reduce rising income inequality by prioritizing the needs of the poor who are left behind by the globalization of indifference. Francis laid out several dangers lurking behind prevailing economic models, including rising inequality, as well as several ways to build bridges between the rich and the poor. He said, poverty can be overcome if an economic system is put in place that includes, feeds, cures, and dresses those left behind by society. “We have to choose what and who to prioritise. … Our choice will lead either to increased social injustice and violence, or to humanizing socio-economic systems.” (vaticannews)

FEBRUARY PAPAL PRAYER INTENTION: HEAR THE CRIES OF MIGRANTS

Pope Francis on Thursday released a video message accompanying his prayer intention for February 2020 which is “Hear the cries of migrants”. He calls on the entire world to hear the cries of migrants, many of whom are victims of criminal human trafficking.

It has become Pope Francis’ custom to release a video message detailing his prayer intention for each month.

The full text of his intention is below:

Migrants are often victims of criminal human smuggling and human trafficking. Among other causes, this happens because of corruption on the part of people willing to do anything for financial gain. The money from their dirty, underhanded business is blood money. I’m not exaggerating: it’s blood money. We pray that the cries of our migrant brothers and sisters, victims of criminal human smuggling and human trafficking, may be heard and considered.

The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network of the Apostleship of Prayer developed “The Pope Video” initiative to assist in the worldwide dissemination of monthly intentions of the Holy Father in relation to the challenges facing humanity.

CLICK HERE TO SEE VIDEO: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2020-02/pope-francis-prayer-intention-february-2020.html

CELEBRATING THE EPIPHANY IN ITALY – POPE’S JANUARY PRAYER INTENTION: PROMOTION OF WORLD PEACE

Rome sweet home! I got back to the Eternal City yesterday after a fun-filled time in the States (Illinois and California) and a variety of experiences – Christmas celebrations and meals and holiday parties with family and friends, lots of football games (if you’ve never been with me in a stadium during a football game, there’s a Joan Lewis you do not know!), and many hours spent reading and filling out forms for the real estate agents and escrow people handling the sale of my parent’s home in California. All the more interesting because four of us are owners and three of us live outside California, so emails and phone calls to different times zones complicated things on occasion.

I left San Diego Friday in 70 degree weather, spent a night in Chicago and awoke to snow and arrived Rome yesterday to brilliant sun and cold temps, The temps got colder overnight in Rome but, thank the Lord, the sun matched its brilliance yesterday, a needed ingredient for the festivities marking today’s feast of the Epiphany, as you will read below.

CELEBRATING THE EPIPHANY IN ITALY

The January 6 feast of the Epiphany is a major holiday in both the Vatican and Italy and is celebrated throughout the country in an extraordinarily festive way, from small hamlets and ancient villages to the great metropolises of this land.

On this day, what takes place in the Vatican, starting with the papal Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica and ending with joyful, fun-filled festivities in St. Peter’s Square, fairly well mirrors what happens around Italy on this day, although perhaps to a larger extent. Though I did not make it there this morning, on January 6 St. Peter’s is usually filled with many thoudands of faithful as well as troubadors, ancient Roman soldiers, flag throwers and hundreds of costumed citizens representing civil and religious organizations, regions and towns of Italy.

Costumed horesemen and women usually strut their finery and often make their horses dance to the delight of the crowd. More color is added by groups bearing statues and religious images and crosses and banners as they march through the square and down Via della Conciliazione at the end of the Angelus. Bands play and spectators applaud.

A typical Epiphany celebration in St. Peter’s Square:

I remember one year when there were several very old cars, beautifully maintained and interesting to see but they seemed out of place among all the period costumes that graced the piazza.

Another year I remember taking photos of three two-humped camels. I was not sure if it was a dromendary or camel that had two humps so I looked it up and discovered the: The Bactrian camel (Camelus bactrianus) is a large, even-toed ungulate native to the steppes of Central Asia. Of the two species of camels, it is by far the rarer. The Bactrian camel has two humps on its back, in contrast to the single-humped dromedary camel (I also learned that dromedary and camel are interchangeable).

Piazza Navona has forever been a favorite destination all year round for visitors as well as for Italians. At no time is it as festive as it is at Christmas and today, the Epiphany.

Before Christmas, it is tradition that every year each family or child will pick out one new figurine for the family nativity scene that is built at home, and Navona in December has always been a great place to find these terracotta figurines.

A popular Christmas figure you will find here and in many stores is the Befana – a witch-like figure who rides a broomstick and brings coal to bad children and candy to good children. Befana is a breakdown of the word “epiphany” and many, in fact, call her the epiphany witch because she arrives in the night of the epiphany to fill children’s stockings with her gifts.

Yet another Italian tradition is to buy a small, ornament size broom with Christmas ribbons on it – a scacciaguai – that symbolizes the sweeping away of one’s troubles.

Epiphany is, of course, the 12th day of Christmas when the three Magi arrived and gave Baby Jesus their gifts. In some families Epiphany is a bigger celebration that Christmas. Epiphany, in any case, for many signals the end of the Christmas season.

Until a few years ago, the official end of the Christmas season at the Vatican was the February 2 feast of the Presentation of the Child Jesus in the temple. The tree and nativity scene always remained in the square until that day. Pope Francis changed the date to the second Sunday of January that celebrates the Baptism of Jesus,

POPE’S JANUARY PRAYER INTENTION: PROMOTION OF WORLD PEACE

Pope Francis has released a video message announcing his prayer intention for January 2020: “Promotion of World Peace.”

In this intention, the Holy Father asks people to pray that Christians, followers of other religions, and all people of goodwill may promote together peace and justice in the world.

Following is the text of that January 2020 message:

“In a divided and fragmented world, I want to invite all believers, and also all people of good will, to reconciliation and fraternity. Our faith leads us to spread the values of peace and mutual understanding, of the common good.We pray that Christians, followers of other religions, and all people of goodwill may promote together peace and justice in the world. Thank you.”

POPE’S NOVEMBER PRAYER INTENTION: FOR DIALOGUE IN MIDDLE EAST – POPE FRANCIS ON ST. PAUL PREACHING IN ATHENS

FYI:
On Sunday November 10, 2019 at 16.30 in the Cathedral of San Pietro Apostolo in Frascati (Rome) there will be the closing ceremony of the diocesan phase of the cause of beatification and canonization of the Servant of God Chiara Lubich, founder of the Focolare Movement. The ceremony will be presided by the Bishop of Frascati, Mons. Raffaello Martinelli. Maria Voce, president of the Focolare Movement will be present.

If by any chance you have plans to be in Lucerne, Switzerland between November 7 and the 10th, you will have an opportunity to meet two Swiss Guards according to a communique today from their Vatican headquarters: “For the first time, the Pontifical Swiss Guard will have its own stand at the Central Switzerland Education Fair in Lucerne from Thursday November 7 to Sunday the 10th. During the training fair in Lucerne, two active guards will be present in uniform at Stand D 2099, in Hall 2, next to the Lucerne Police. They will present the job of the Pontifical Swiss Guard and will gladly answer the questions of interested visitors.”

As I read today’s general audience catechesis I could not help but think this sounds like what is needed in the Amazon vis a vis evangelization. I know it sounds like over-simplification but do we need thousands of words to describe evangelization? I know the Amazon region also need priests but perhaps the seminaries should be open to indigenous males. If you recall Pope Francis’ closing words at the final meeting of the Amazon synod participants, he said: “There was talk, very forceful, of indigenous Seminaries. I thank Cardinal O’Malley for his courage in this because he put his finger on the sore in something that is a real social injustice, which is, in fact, the Indians are not allowed to go on the seminarian path and on the path of the priesthood.”

That was a stunning affirmation that no one seems to have made note of! I was breathless when I read that sentence and spoke about it on October 30 with Teresa Tomeo on “Catholic Connection” and am looking into this situation to find out why and when the cardinal made his remarks (I do not recall this being highlighted at Vatican press briefings) and to look into regional seminaries.

POPE’S NOVEMBER PRAYER INTENTION: FOR DIALOGUE IN MIDDLE EAST

As he does the first days of each month, Pope Francis released a video message with his prayer intention for November 2019 in which he invites us to pray that, “a spirit of dialogue, encounter, and reconciliation emerge in the Middle East.”

Francis speaks in Spanish as a video is shown with English subtitles.

Following is the full text:
In the Middle East, concord and dialogue among the three monotheistic religions is based on spiritual and historic bonds. The Good News of Jesus, risen out of love, came to us from these lands. Today, many Christian communities, together with Jewish and Muslim communities, work here for peace, reconciliation, and forgiveness. Let us pray that a spirit of dialogue, encounter, and reconciliation emerge in the Middle East.

The prayer intentions and videos are prepared by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network of the Apostleship of Prayer.

Click here to see video and text: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-11/pope-francis-november-prayer-intention-for-middle-east.html

POPE FRANCIS ON ST. PAUL PREACHING IN ATHENS

As he has done for weeks now, Pope Francis today continued his weekly general audience catechesis on the Acts of the Apostles, focusing on St. Paul who, in his myriad travels, preached in Athens, seeking to explain the Gospel to non-believers.

“Dear brothers and sisters,” began Pope Francis as he addressed pilgrims who sat through rain and then very blue skies in St. Peter’s Square. “In our catechesis on the Acts of the Apostles, we now see the Apostle Paul preaching before the Areopagus in Athens, the cultural capital of the pagan world. In a city filled with idols, Paul proclaims the Gospel by appealing to the religiosity of his hearers and their desire to know the truth.”

The Holy Father explained that, “Seeing an altar dedicated to an ‘unknown god’, Paul states that God, the transcendent Creator of the world, has indeed made himself known, and sent his Son among us to call all people to conversion and the fullness of truth.”

“Yet,” he emphasized, “when Paul begins to speak of Christ’s death and resurrection, his listeners lose interest. The mystery of the cross, in which God’s wisdom and power are revealed, appears as folly in the eyes of the Greeks. Yet Paul’s preaching bears fruit in the conversion of some Athenians, including Dionysius the Areopagite and Damaris.”

Francis told the faithful, “As we think of our own culture, may we, like Paul, be sensitive to people’s deepest yearnings in order to propose the mystery of Christ and his saving love.”

POPE’S OCTOBER PRAYER INTENTION: FOR A MISSIONARY “SPRING” IN THE CHURCH

At 6.00 pm this evening in St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis will preside at Vespers for the beginning of the missionary month that is traditionally October. The celebration will be introduced by a missionary Vigil and listening to testimonies from the missionary world starting at 5.15 pm.

Starting today, the Church this month celebrates an “Extraordinary Missionary Month,” that was announced by the Pope himself at the Angelus of October 22, 2017 with these words: “It is my intention to promote an Extraordinary Missionary Month in October 2019, in order to nourish the ardor of the evangelizing activity of the Church ad gentes. On the day of the liturgical memorial of St. John Paul II, the missionary Pope, we entrust to his intercession the mission of the Church in the world.”

POPE’S OCTOBER PRAYER INTENTION: FOR A MISSIONARY “SPRING” IN THE CHURCH

Pope Francis released a video message accompanying his prayer intention for October, which is that the breath of the Holy Spirit engender a new missionary spring in the Church.

(vaticannews)

In his prayer intention for the month of October 2019, Pope Francis invites us to pray that, “politicians, scientists and economists work together to protect the world’s seas and oceans.”

It has become the custom of Pope Francis to release a video message detailing his prayer intention for each month.

The full text of his intention follows:

Today, a new impulse to the Church’s missionary activity is needed to face the challenge of proclaiming Jesus and his death and resurrection. Reaching the peripheries – the human, cultural, and religious settings still foreign to the Gospel: this is what we call the “missio ad gentes”. We must also remember that the heart of the Church’s mission is prayer. In this Extraordinary Missionary Month, let us pray that the Holy Spirit may engender a new missionary “spring” for all those baptized and sent by Christ’s Church,

The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network of the Apostleship of Prayer developed “The Pope Video” initiative to assist in the worldwide dissemination of monthly intentions of the Holy Father in relation to the challenges facing humanity.

TO SEE THE VIDEO: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-10/pope-prayer-intention-october-missionary-month.html

UPDATE ON SUMMER VATICAN MUSEUM VISITS TO CASTELGANDOLFO – POPE’S AUGUST PRAYER INTENTION: FOR FAMILIES

UPDATE ON SUMMER VATICAN MUSEUM VISITS TO CASTELGANDOLFO

If anyone reading this column has reserved for August 3 (this weekend) the Vatican Museums’ visit to Castelgandolfo and the papal residence that takes place on Saturdays throughout the year, the Museums have issued the following notice (obviously this refers to any tourists who still wants to reserve this special visit in August):

“For extraordinary summer maintenance work on the Ciampino-Albano Laziale railway line (vice versa) – and in order to cause the least inconvenience to visitors, the Vatican Museums’ “Vatican by Train” initiative has arranged for a private substitute shuttle service dedicated to visitors who reserved the visit in lieu of scheduled train service on the following Saturdays: August 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31. This visit, whose destination is the papal villas in Castelgandolfo, normally starts with departures from the Vatican City train station and from the Roma San Pietro. On the above dates busses will substitute the trains.”

If you can manage to have your Rome itinerary include a Saturday, be sure to reserve for this special trip. I have done it and it is a full day but a lot of fun and a real beautiful experience – the Castelli Romani hills towns, the papal residence and gardens, Lake Albano, an extinct volcano, etc. (JFL photos)

For anything related to the Vatican Museums, go to the OFFICIAL website: http://www.museivaticani.va/content/museivaticani/en.html

For the Saturday Castelgandolfo visit: http://www.museivaticani.va/content/museivaticani/en/visita-i-musei/scegli-la-visita/ville-pontificie-e-giardini/ville-pontificie-di-castel-gandolfo.html

Do not Google “Vatican Museums” and get some tour group or website that will charge you a higher price than the Museums do. After all, they have to make a profit. Go straight to the official site!

POPE’S AUGUST PRAYER INTENTION: FOR FAMILIES

Pope Francis has released a video message accompanying his prayer intention for August, which is that families may become “schools of true human development”.

In his prayer intention for the month of August 2019, Pope Francis invites us to pray that, “families, through their life of prayer and love, become ever more clearly schools of true human development.”

It has become the custom of Pope Francis to release a video message detailing his prayer intention for each month.

The full text of his intention is below:
What kind of world do we want to leave for the future?
Let us leave a world with families.
Let us care for our families, because they are true schools for the future, spaces of freedom, and centers of humanity.
And let us reserve a special place in our families for individual and communal prayer.
Let us pray that families, through their life of prayer and love, become ever more clearly “schools of true human development”.

The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network of the Apostleship of Prayer developed “The Pope Video” initiative to assist in the worldwide dissemination of monthly intentions of the Holy Father in relation to the challenges facing humanity.

Click here to see the August papal video: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-08/pope-francis-july-prayer-intention-families0.html#play

POPE FRANCIS “GRATEFUL” FOR COURAGE OF D-DAY SOLDIERS – JUNE PRAYER INTENTION: PRIESTS’ SOLIDARITY WITH THE POOR

I am back in Rome, well, safe and happy, after an astonishing week in my native Chicago and at my alma mater, St. Mary’s of Notre Dame, Indiana. Memories are as alive now as the events were when they occurred – not only the Alumna Achievement Award ceremony at SMC with friends and family but celebratory meals and visits with great friends in Chicago.

My June calendar has filled up rapidly in the past day or two so now a good night’s sleep is on my agenda in order to be ready to go for those events, receptions, parish meetings.

Heartfelt apologies, by the way, to those of you who look forward to getting “Joan’s Rome” in your daily email. I was silent on these pages during my travels but, as usual, I did post a few things on my Facebook page. It’s good to be back with you. Now I’m about to work on this week’s edition of “Vatican Insider.”

POPE FRANCIS “GRATEFUL” FOR COURAGE OF D-DAY SOLDIERS

As world leaders and veterans commemorated the 75th anniversary of the Allied D-Day landings in Europe, Pope Francis expressed his appreciation for the courage of soldiers who committed themselves to fighting for freedom and peace.

By Devin Watkins (vaticannews)

Pope Francis sent his gratitude to the soldiers who fought in World War II, in a message read out at Mass by Bishop Jean-Claude Boulanger of Bayeux-Lisieux, France. (Vatican photo)

The Holy Father said the Allied landings on June 6, 1944 in Normandy and elsewhere in Europe were “decisive in the fight against Nazi barbarism.”

He said the campaign “opened the path to end World War II, which has so deeply wounded Europe and the world.”

Gratitude
The Pope said he was grateful to the many soldiers who “had the courage to commit themselves and give their lives for freedom and peace.”

He also prayed for the souls of all the fallen soldiers and the millions who died in the war.

Pope Francis expressed his hope that the 75th commemoration of D-Day would allow all generations around the world to recognize that “peace is based on respect for each person, whatever his or her background, on respect for the law and the common good, on respect for the environment entrusted to our care and for the richness of the moral tradition inherited from past generations.”

JUNE PRAYER INTENTION: PRIESTS’ SOLIDARITY WITH THE POOR

Pope Francis released a video message accompanying his prayer intention for June, which is that priests may commit themselves to “solidarity with those who are most poor.” In that message, the Pope calls us to pray that priests, “through the modesty and humility of their lives, commit themselves actively, above all, to solidarity with those who are most poor.”

Following is the full text of that message:

“I would like to ask you to look at the priests who work in our communities.
They are not perfect, but many give it their all until the very end, offering themselves with humility and joy. They are priests who are close to the people, ready to work hard for everyone. Let us be thankful for their example and testimony. Let us pray that priests, through the modesty and humility of their lives, commit themselves actively, above all, to solidarity with those who are most poor.”

The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network of the Apostleship of Prayer developed “The Pope Video” initiative to assist in the worldwide dissemination of monthly intentions of the Holy Father in relation to the challenges facing humanity. (vaticannews)

For video: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-06/pope-francis-prayer-intention-june-2019.html#play