Thursday, January 4, 2024

Pope to Franciscans: Build bridges of peace in a world of war


Pope Francis during his interview on 29 DecemberPope Francis during his interview on 29 December 

Pope to Franciscan magazine: Build bridges of peace in a world of war

Pope Francis grants an interview to the monthly magazine of the Franciscans of the Sacred Convent in Assisi and invites them to be "apostles of reconciliation and forgiveness" in a world ravaged by warns

By Francesca Merlo

“There is so much cruelty, that is why I ask for bridges of peace!” says Pope Francis in an interview granted to the monthly magazine San Francesco Patrono d'Italia (Saint Francis Patron of Italy), published by the friars of the Sacred Convent in Assisi.

In the January issue, the Pope once again asked that we be instruments of peace by building bridges and stretching out our hands to our brothers and sisters in need. Since the end of the Second World War, the Pope noted, the world has not ceased to make wars everywhere: we see Palestine and Ukraine well because they are close to us. The Holy Father also added that the times in which we are living are delicate and that there are many people in prison for political reasons. When faced with such cruelty, Pope Francis stresses that we need bridges. “Build bridges” he stressed.

The interview took place on 29 December, after having received in audience the Minister General of the Friars Minor Conventual, Friar Carlos Trovarelli; the Custos of the Sacred Convent, Friar Marco Moroni; and the Director of the Communications Office of the Sacred Convent, Friar Giulio Cesareo, OFMConv. Pope Francis was asked who Saint Francis is to him - a question to which he responded by saying that he is “a special saint, who imitated Christ in a special way”. He is the saint of humility and goodness, explained the Pope; he is patient and asks nothing of anyone whilst offering himself fully to everyone. This, the Pope explained, is how Saint Francis chose to imitate the Lord, and he did so until the end.

Finally, the Holy Father highlighted the gift that the Holy Spirit wants to give the Church through Franciscans: goodness. Pope Francis explained that goodness means witness and forgiveness. “A Franciscan must be very welcoming in the sacrament of reconciliation, forgiving everything”, stressed the Pope, emphasizing that “the Lord does not tire of forgiving” and that “Francis had a big heart and he too did not tire of giving forgiveness”. What he expects from Franciscans, the Pope concluded, “is that they be apostles of reconciliation and forgiveness”.

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