Pope Francis’ First Sunday Angelus

March 17, 2013

Papal Election

By Scot Landry


Today at noon, Pope Francis delivered his first Sunday Angelus message.  Typically when the Holy Father is in Rome he has 2 regular weekly appearances: the Wednesday General Audience and then the Sunday Angelus message.

If you read my Wednesday post, you remember that I thought there was only a remote chance of seeing white smoke, so I hadn’t brought the various religious items to be blessed by our new Holy Father.  Today was my chance to get all the items blessed, so I was grateful that we had good weather in the morning.

The crowd as it got close to the noon hour was very densely populated.  Vatican Radio reported about 300,000 people were at this Angelus, and it felt like it.  They joke in Rome about how crowded the #64 bus can be on the route from Termini station to St. Peter’s (beware of the pick-pocketers!).  The #64 had nothing on the crowd this morning!

George was able to take his zoom lens up on the roof of the Colonnade. I situated myself in the area just outside the main Piazza so that I didn’t have to take all my religious items through security.

It was wonderful to see how many people are here in Rome to watch this historic papal transition and it will be great to be able to share some newly blessed rosary beads and medals with family members and friends.



Translation of Angelus Message:

Here is the complete text of his Angelus meditation:

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
After our first meeting last Wednesday, today I again give my greetings to you all! And I am happy to do it on Sunday, the Lord’s Day!
This is beautiful and important for us Christians: to meet on Sunday, to greet one another, to talk as we are doing now, in the square. This square that, thanks to the media, takes on worldly dimensions.
In this Fifth Sunday of Lent, the Gospel presents us with the story of the adulterous woman whom Jesus saves from being condemned to death. It captures Jesus’ attitude: we do not hear words of contempt, we do not hear words of condemnation, but only words of love, of mercy, that invite us to conversion. “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more!”
Well, brothers and sisters! God’s face is that of a merciful father who is always patient. Have you thought about God’s patience, the patience that He has with each of us? That is His mercy. He always has patience, is always patient with us, understanding us, awaiting us, never tiring of forgiving us if we know how to return to him with a contrite heart. “Great is the Lord’s mercy,” says the Psalm.
In these days, I have been able to read a book by a cardinal—Cardinal Kasper, a talented theologian, a good theologian—on mercy. And it did me such good, that book, but don’t think that I’m publicizing the books of my cardinals. That is not the case! But it did me such good, so much good…
Cardinal Kasper said that hearing the word “mercy” changes everything. It is the best thing that we can hear: it changes the world. A bit of mercy makes the world less cold and more just. We need to understand God’s mercy well, this merciful Father who has such patience…
Think of the prophet Isaiah who asserts that even if our sins were scarlet red, God’s love would make them white as snow. That is beautiful, [this aspect of mercy].
Our Lady of Fatima
I remember when, just after I was made bishop, in 1992, the Madonna of Fatima came to Buenos Aires and a large Mass for the sick was celebrated.
I went to hear confessions at that Mass. Near the end of the Mass I got up because I had to administer a confirmation. An over 80-year-old woman came up to me, humbly, very humbly.
I asked her: “Nonna,” [grandmother]—because that’s how we address our elderly—“Nonna, you want to confess?”
“Yes,” she told me.
“But if you haven’t sinned…”
And she said to me: “We have all sinned…”
“But perhaps the Lord will not forgive you…”
“The Lord forgives everyone,” she told me, with certainty.
“But how do you know that, ma’am?”
“If the Lord didn’t forgive everyone, the world would not exist.”
I wanted to ask her: “Tell me, have you studied at the Gregorian [Pontifical University]?”, because that is the wisdom that the Holy Spirit gives: the inner wisdom of God’s mercy.
Let us not forget this word: God never tires of forgiving us, never!
“So, Father, what is the problem?”

Well, the problem is that we get tired, we don’t want to, we get tired of asking forgiveness.

Let us never get tired. Let us never get tired. He is the loving Father who always forgives, who has that heart of mercy for all of us. And let us also learn to be merciful with everyone.
Let us call upon the intercession of the Madonna who has held in her arms the Mercy of God made human.


This is what Vatican Radio wrote about the Angelus message:

Pope Francis again greeted the faithful outside, before making his way to his study and the window overlooking St Peter’s Square, below which was gathered a crowd 300 thousand-strong, more than rivalling the throng of people who braved cold, rain and dark to meet the Pope on Wednesday – the night of his election – and receive his blessing for the first time. Dozens of national flags were visible in the packed Square, and a deafening cheer went up when, at last, Pope Francis appeared. Mercy was once again the cornerstone of his reflections ahead of the traditional prayer of Marian devotion.

He told a story, of an elderly widow he encountered during a Mass for the sick celebrated in connection with a visit of the image of Our Lady of Fatima. “I went to confession during the Mass,” he said, “and near the end – I had to go to do confirmations afterward, and an elderly lady approached me – humble [she was] so very humble, more than eighty years old. I looked at her, and said, ‘Grandmother,’ – where I come from, we call elderly people grandmother and grandfather – ‘would you like to make your confession?’ ‘Yes,’ she said – and I said, ‘but, if you have not sinned…’ and she said, ‘we all have sinned.’ [I replied], ‘if perhaps He should not forgive [you]?’ and, sure, she replied, ‘The Lord forgives everything.’ I asked, ‘How do you know this for sure, madam?’ and she replied, ‘If the Lord hadn’t forgiven all, then the world wouldn’t [still] be here.’ And, I wanted to ask her, ‘Madam, did you study at the Gregorian (the Pontifical Gregorian University, founded in 1551 by St Ignatius Loyola, the oldest Jesuit university in the world)?’ – because that is wisdom, which the Holy Spirit gives – interior wisdom regarding the mercy of God. Let us not forget this word: God never tires of forgiving us,” he repeated, “but we sometimes tire of asking Him to forgive us.” Pope Francis went on to say, “Let us never tire of asking God’s forgiveness.”


Here is what Catholic News Agency wrote:

Pope Francis cracks two jokes in first Angelus, winning more hearts

Vatican City, Mar 17, 2013 / 06:20 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The new Pope’s spontaneity was revealed again today after he cracked two jokes during his very first Angelus prayer in front of thousands.

On a more serious note, he asked people to never get tired of asking God for forgiveness.

“Don’t forget this, the Lord never gets tired of forgiving, it is we that get tired of asking forgiveness,” said Pope Francis today at Saint Peter’s Square.

“Let us not hear words of contempt or condone, but only words of love and mercy that invite us to conversion,” he told the crowd.

The new Pope said that the face of God is like that of a merciful father that always has patience and is always willing to forgive us.

“Have you thought about how much patience he has with you?” he asked.

Pope Francis told how he recently read a book by Cardinal Walter Kasper on mercy.

“That book has done me so much good, but don’t think I’m trying to make publicity of my cardinals!” he joked. “It’s not like that!”

“It’s done me so much good because he says that mercy changes everything, it changes the world making it less cold and more fair,” said Pope Francis.

He explained that the prophet Isaiah said that “if our sins are red like scarlet, God will make them white like snow.”

Pope Francis also told how when the image of Our Lady of Fatima arrived to Buenos Aires in 1992 when he was Bishop, a big Mass was celebrated for the poor during which he spent it confessing.

He told of the conversation between “an old and very humble lady” who came to him towards the end of the Mass.

Pope: “Nonna, do you want to confess yourself?”

Lady: “Yes.”

Pope: “But you haven’t sinned.”

Lady: “We’ve all sinned.”

Pope: “But maybe God won’t forgive you.”

Lady: “God forgives everyone.”

Pope: “How do you know, madame?”

Lady: “If God didn’t forgive everything, the world wouldn’t exist.”

“I wanted to ask her, ‘Have you studied at the Gregorian (University)?’ because that is the knowledge that the Holy Spirit gives!” exclaimed the Pope, laughing.

Pope Francis then extended his greetings to all faithful and said he chose the name “Francis” to spiritually tie himself to Italy, of which his family is originally from.

“But Jesus has called us to form part of a new family of his Church, in this family of God walking together on the path of the Gospel,” he said.

“Let’s not forget that God never gets tired of forgiving so let’s never get tired of asking for forgiveness,” he added again.

Pope Francis ended his first Angelus prayer wishing everyone a “nice Sunday and a nice lunch.”


Video Recording of VaticanTV:



Thank you for visiting this blog for our special coverage here from Rome at TheGoodCatholicLife.com.  George’s photos can be viewed at www.BostonCatholicPhotos.com.

Scot Landry and George Martell



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One Response to “Pope Francis’ First Sunday Angelus”

  1. Jamesrudy Says:

    what an amazing angelus prayer , off the cuff remarks but very touching . Thank you so much Pope Francis the first