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