For the first time in its history, the Holy See Press Office today released English and Spanish translations of the Holy Father’s reflections at today’s Angelus, as well as his words after praying the Angelus with the faithful in St. Peter’s Square.   Though I usually post a summary, following are those English texts in full as they offer some wonderful food for reflection about the Holy Trinity and Sacred Heart of Jesus. I am sure you know that the Church always dedicates the month of June to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

For the second Sunday in a row, Pope Francis appeared at the window of his study in the Apostolic Palace that overlooks St. Peter’s Square where a small group of faithful, having gone through two security checks, gathered to pray with him.


Dear brothers and sisters, good day! Today’s Gospel (see Jn 3: 16-18), on the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity, demonstrates – with John’s succinct language – the mystery of God’s love for the world, His creation. In the brief dialogue with Nicodemus, Jesus presents Himself as He who brings to fulfilment the Father’s plan of salvation for the world. He affirms: “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (v. 16). These words are to indicate that the action of the three divine Persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – is all a single plan of love that saves humanity and the world. (photo vatican media)

The world is marked by evil and corruption, and we men and women are sinners; therefore, God could intervene to judge the world, to destroy evil and castigate sinners. Instead, He loves the world, despite its sins; God loves every one of us even when we make mistakes and distance ourselves from Him. God the Father loves the world so much that, to save it, He gives what is most precious to Him: His only-begotten Son, who gives His life for humanity, rises again, returns to the Father and together with Him sends the Holy Spirit. The Trinity is therefore Love, all in the service of the world, which He wishes to save and recreate.

When Jesus affirms that the Father has given His only-begotten Son, we spontaneously think of Abraham and his offering of his son Isaac, about whom the Book of Genesis speaks (cf. 22: 1-14): this is the “measure without measure” of God’s love. And let us also think of how God reveals Himself to Moses: full of tenderness, merciful and compassionate, slow to anger and full of grace and fidelity. The encounter with this God encouraged Moses, who, as the book of Exodus tells us, was not afraid to stand between the people and the Lord, saying to Him: “Although this is a stiff-necked people, forgive our wickedness and our sin, and take us as your inheritance” (34: 9).

Dear brothers and sisters, today’s feast day invites us to let ourselves once again be fascinated by the beauty of God; beauty, goodness and inexhaustible truth. But also humble, close, who became flesh in order to enter into our life, into our history, so that every man and woman may encounter it and have eternal life. And this is faith: to welcome God-Love who gives Himself in Christ, to let ourselves be encountered by Him and to trust in Him.

We live faith in Christ in listening to the Word and partaking in the Sacraments, through which the Holy Spirit gives us God’s grace. Through the Sacraments we can remain in a continuous relationship with the divine Persons, we are stimulated to bear witness to evangelical charity, and we are sustained in our effort to live in unity and in peace, so that everything may be to the glory of the Most Holy Trinity, of God-Love.

May the Virgin Mary, dwelling-place of the Trinity, help us to welcome with an open heart the love of God, which fills us with joy and gives meaning to our journey in this world, always guiding us towards our destination, which is Heaven.


Dear brothers and sisters, I greet you all, Romans and pilgrims: individual faithful, families and religious communities. Your presence in the square is a sign that the acute phase of the epidemic is over in Italy, even though it remains necessary to follow the rules in force carefully. But unfortunately in other countries, especially in Latin America, the virus continues to claim many victims. I wish to express my closeness to those populations, to the sick and their families, and to all those who care for them.

The month of June is dedicated in a special way to the Heart of Christ, a devotion that unites the great spiritual teachers and the simple among the people of God. Indeed, the human and divine Heart of Jesus is the wellspring where we can always draw upon God’s mercy, forgiveness and tenderness. We can do so by focusing on a passage from the Gospel, feeling that at the centre of every gesture, of every word of Jesus there is love, the love of the Father. And we can do this by adoring the Eucharist, where this love is present in the Sacrament. Then our heart too, little by little, will become more patient, more generous, more merciful.

I wish you all a good Sunday. Please, do not forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch, and arrivederci.


May the entwined hearts of Mary and Jesus open to receive our supplications!


CNA Staff, Mar 25, 2020 / 05:25 pm (CNA).- Twenty-four countries on Wednesday were consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary at the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Fatima, Portugal.

In a March 25 ceremony that included the recitation of the rosary and a litany asking the Blessed Virgin Mary to pray for the afflicted, Fatima’s bishop, Cardinal Antonio Marto, renewed the consecration of Portugal and Spain to Jesus and Mary, and added the names of twenty-four other countries.

In response to the global coronavirus pandemic, the Portuguese bishops’ conference announced last week they would re-consecrate Portugal to Christ and Mary on the evening of March 25. Shortly after the announcement, the Spanish bishops’ conference requested that their country also be consecrated in the same liturgy.

The Portuguese bishops subsequently invited the heads of other national bishops’ conferences to request that their nations be added as well.

In addition to Spain and Portugal, the other 22 countries consecrated at the request of their respective episcopal conferences are: Albania, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Slovakia, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Mexico, Moldova, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Kenya, the Dominican Republic, Romania, Tanzania, East Timor and Zimbabwe.

The cardinal also prayed for “children, the elderly and the most vulnerable,” asking the Blessed Virgin Mary to “comfort doctors, nurses, healthcare professionals, and volunteer caregivers. Strengthen families and reinforce us in citizenship and solidarity.”

During his remarks, the cardinal recalled that Saints Francisco and Jacinto Marto, shepherd children to whom the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared in 1917, both died amid the victims of the Spanish flu pandemic.

Cardinal Marto prayed that the saints would intercede for “so many sick people who, these days and in a profound way, experience the solitude of isolation to which they are subject.”

In a statement, the bishops’ conference of Portugal noted that 36 years ago, on March 25, 1984, Pope St. John Paul II consecrated the entire world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

In Spain, more than 3,600 people have died of the coronavirus, while in Portugal, nearly 3000 are infected and almost 50 have died. More than 21,000 people have died around the world as a result of the novel coronavirus.


On March 25, 1984, Pope John Paul II consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in an extraordinary ceremony in St. Peter’s Square before one of, if not the largest crowds ever to fill the square at the time, including cardinals and bishops from throughout the world.

What made the event extraordinary was that it was held in the presence of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima – the celebrated statue in the “capelinha” (little chapel) of the famous Portuguese shrine that was flown to Rome at the Pope’s request by the bishop of Fatima. The statue had been carried through the square and placed on the sagrato as the world watched with bated breath.

In union with the bishops of the entire world, this is the prayer that Pope St. John Paul said on that day:

Immaculate Heart! Help us to conquer the menace of evil, which so easily takes root in the hearts of the people of today, and whose immeasurable effects already weigh down upon our modern world and seem to block the paths towards the future!

From famine and war, deliver us.

From nuclear war, from incalculable self-destruction, from every kind of war, deliver us.

From sins against the life of man from its very beginning, deliver us.

From hatred and from the demeaning of the dignity of the children of God,
deliver us.

From every kind of injustice in the life of society, both national and international, deliver us.

From readiness to trample on the commandments of God, deliver us.

From attempts to stifle in human hearts the very truth of God, deliver us.

From the loss of awareness of good and evil, deliver us.

From sins against the Holy Spirit, deliver us, deliver us.

Accept, O Mother of Christ, this cry laden with the sufferings of all individual human beings, laden with the sufferings of whole societies.

Help us with the power of the Holy Spirit to conquer all sin: individual sin and the “sin of the world,” sin in all its manifestations.

Let there be revealed, once more, in the history of the world the infinite saving power of the Redemption: the power of merciful Love! May it put a stop to evil! May it transform consciences! May your Immaculate Heart reveal for all the light of Hope!



My guests this weekend in the interview segment of Vatican Insider are Nadine Bargnes and Dawn Iacono of St. Gregory the Great Parish in Amherst, New York where, over 15 years ago they founded MOMS, the Ministry of Mothers Sharing. Nadine and Dawn, former volunteers in Rome for the Jubilee Year of Mercy, returned to the Eternal City with 24 Catholic MOMS from the diocese. Msgr. Robert E. Zapfel, who studied and lived in Rome and is pastor of St. Leo the Great Parish in Amherst, was the spiritual guide for the group. They have a fascinating story to tell – and wait till you hear what they did the last full day of their pilgrimage in Rome. (Nadine L, Dawn R)

The entire pilgrimage was formed around MOMS and moms (lower case) – not only daily Mass and the practice each day of a virtue associated with motherhood (faith and joy, sacrifice and suffering, chastity and purity, courage, justice, fortitude and charity) but visits to churches and shrines dedicated to saints who were also mothers.

You will learn all about MOMS as a ministry, and Dawn and Nadine are only too happy to have you contact them if you wish MOMS in your parish. St. Gregory the Great is not the only parish to have this ministry but it began there. Please write me for their email addresses.

And look at this magnificent shawl! Blue, of course, for Mary, the Blessed Mother! Catherine Wadhams, one of the MOMS on pilgrimage, made one for every member of the pilgrimage and threw in two extras – one for Joan Lewis and a white one for Pope Francis. They talk about that in our conversation!

In the United States, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (there is a list of U.S. stations at http://www.ewtn.com) or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio. 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.” Vatican Insider airs Saturday mornings at 9:00am (ET). On the SKY satellite feed to the UK and parts of Europe, VI airs on audio channel 0147 at 11:30 am CET on Saturdays, and 5:30am and 10pm CET on Sundays. It’s also available on demand on the EWTN app and on the website. CHECK YOUR TIME ZONE. Here’s a link to download VI to your iTunes library: http://www.ewtn.com/se/pg/DatService.svc/feed/~LE.xml For VI archives: http://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/file_index.asp?SeriesId=7096&pgnu=


Our wonderful Msgr. Anthony Figueiredo, whose commentary your hear ever Wednesday for the weekly papal audience on EWTN, says Mass Friday mornings at 8:45 in St. Peter’s Basilica for our Rome staff Mass is traditionally celebrated at the altar of the tomb of St. John XXIII but we’ve been elsewhere in these days his remains have been on pilgrimage in and around his native Bergamo, Italy. I understand St. John will be back this Sunday!

Today, the feast of the Sacred Heart, Msgr. Anthony celebrated Mass at the Sacred Heart of Jesus altar. Only two of us were present and, as you can see in one photo, I did a reading and the Responsorial Psalm. At the start of Mass, Msgr. lists all those for whom we were asked to pray and during Mass gives a wonderful homily, both times mentioning that prayers on this feast day are also always for the sanctification of priests.

Today he explained the beautiful mosaic you see in these photos (yes, mosaic! FYI, I have been told that there is only one painting in St. Peter’s Basilica – what you think are paintings are mosaics!) that depicts Jesus and St. Margaret Mary Alacoque who lived from 1647 to 1690. She was French, a Visitation nun and a mystic and passionately promoted devotion to the Sacred Heart.

I remember especially Msgr. Anthony’s words about Jesus’ Sacred Heart being so big that it has room for every single last one of us, His love is unsurpassable and forever, and His mercy is greater than any sin. My paraphrasing will not do justice to his words.

After Mass, as we walked back to the sacristy, I said, “the best part of the day had just ended!”


It’s once again a quiet day at the Vatican but things will surely change in coming days as Pope Francis nears the end of his working vacation at the Santa Marta residence. He has, of course, appeared in the window of his study in the Apostolic Palace on Sundays for the Angelus, and will resume the weekly general audience on Wednesday, August 2, in the Paul VI Hall. The weather here has been exceedingly hot, although today and yesterday were rather reasonable with temps in the mid-80s to 90s. Those temps are doubtless the reason for holding the general audience inside.

The U.S has been having its own problems with heat waves and fires in many parts of the country but Italy has been suffering in many ways that are almost historical in nature, with both fires and severe drought.

The drought, brought about by some of the driest weather to affect Italy in 60 years, has left rainfall totals 80% below normal. Rome has had only 26 rainy days in this year’s first six months of this year, compared to 88 in the first half of 2016. Water rationing is still a possibility and could last as long as eight hours daily in alternating neighborhoods.

Rome’s celebrated Trevi Fountain risks running dry, as do other fountains in the Eternal City. We’ve already seen that the Vatican has chosen to turn off its fountains in St. Peter’s Square as well as inside Vatican City State.

One news source reported that Farmers’ lobby Coldiretti last week estimated 2 billion euros ($2.3 billion) worth of damage so far to Italian agriculture due to the crisis. Among those suffering are farmers growing canning tomatoes in the southeastern region of Puglia, wine grapes throughout much of Italy and those cultivating olives — all signature crops for the nation.


(ANSA) – Rome, July 25 – Mariella Enoc, president of Rome’s Bambino Gesù children’s hospital, said Tuesday that Charlie Gard’s therapy would not have been suspended if he had been at the Vatican-owned structure.

“I don’t know why the English hospital decided to suspend the child’s treatments,” Enoc told a news conference. “I know that here with us this would not have happened… I don’t know if it would have been possible to save Charlie, but I do know that lots of time was wasted in legal debates that served for nothing.”

On Monday the parents of the terminally ill British 11-month-old gave up their legal battle to have their son treated abroad. Earlier in July, UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson told Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano that legal reasons prevented Britain from allowing the family to take up an offer from Bambino Gesu’ hospital to try to cure the child.

The hospital had offered to help Gard’s mother Connie Yates and her husband Chris Gard after Pope Francis said treatment should be provided “until the end.” “The experimental therapy could have been an opportunity for Charlie Gard but it came too late,” said Bambino Gesù expert Professor Enrico Silvio Bertini.

“Unfortunately, it has emerged that it is impossible to start the experimental therapeutic plan in the light of the clinical evaluation… because of the seriously compromised condition of little Charlie’s muscle tissue,” said Bertini, the head of Bambino Gesù’s muscular and neurodegenerative illnesses department. (ANSA, a national Italian news agency)


Christians have devoted themselves to the veneration of Jesus’ Sacred Heart for centuries! While many saints have claimed to have had private revelations about Jesus’ Sacred Heart, the modern Catholic devotion is based primarily on the visions of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in the 17th century. (As with all private revelations, Catholics are not obliged to believe them).

Following are the 12 promises privately revealed to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque by Jesus for those who practice devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus:

1) I will give them all the graces necessary in their state of life.
2) I will establish peace in their homes.
3) I will comfort them in all their afflictions.
4) I will be their secure refuge during life, and above all, in death.
5) I will bestow abundant blessings upon all their undertakings.
6) Sinners will find in my Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
7) Lukewarm souls shall become fervent.
8) Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection.
9) I will bless every place in which an image of my Heart is exposed and honored.
10) I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.
11) Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in my Heart.
12) I promise you in the excessive mercy of my Heart that my all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the First Fridays in nine consecutive months the grace of final perseverance; they shall not die in my disgrace, nor without receiving their sacraments. My divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!
(Source: ChurchPOP)