Pope Francis Farewell Address From Colombia

Posted on Sep 10, 2017

13bis COLOMBIA – Cartagena – 10.09.2017 – 16.30 Port area of Contecar
Holy Mass
Final Remarks of the Holy Father


OFFICIAL TRANSLATIONHoly See Press Office


At the conclusion of this celebration, I would like to thank His Grace Jorge Enrique Jiménez Carvajal, Archbishop of Cartagena, for his kind words on behalf of his brother bishops and the entire people of God.

I also greet President Juan Manuel Santos, the civil authorities, and all those who have taken part in this Eucharistic celebration, whether here or through the communications media.

I am deeply grateful for the hard work and sacrifice that have made this visit possible. Many people helped, giving freely and readily of their time and energy. These have been intense and beautiful days; I have been able to meet many people and to experience many things that have touched me deeply. You have done me much good.

Dear brothers and sisters, I would like to leave you with one last word.  Let us not be content with “taking the first step”. Instead, let us continue our journey anew each day, going forth to encounter others and to encourage concord and fraternity. We cannot just stand still. In this very place, on 8 September 1654, Saint Peter Claver died, after forty years of voluntary slavery, of tireless work on behalf of the poor.  He did not stand still: his first step was followed by many others.  His example draws us out of ourselves to encounter our neighbours. Colombia, your brothers and sisters need you. Go out to meet them.  Bring them the embrace of peace, free of all violence. Be “slaves of peace, forever.”

[Pope Francis]

Pope Francis Final Homily In The Port Of Contecar Colombia

Posted on Sep 10, 2017

COLOMBIA – Cartagena – 10.09.2017 – 16.30
Port area of Contecar
Holy Mass
Homily of the Holy Father


OFFICIAL TRANSLATION Holy See Press Office


“The Dignity of the Person and Human Rights.”

In this city, which has been called “heroic” for its tenacity in defending freedom two hundred years ago, I celebrate the concluding Mass of my Visit to Colombia. For the past thirty-two years Cartagena de Indias is also the headquarters in Colombia for Human Rights. For here the people cherish the fact that, “thanks to the missionary team formed by the Jesuit priests Peter Claver y Corberó, Alonso de Sandoval and Brother Nicolás González, accompanied by many citizens of the city of Cartagena de Indias in the seventeenth century, the desire was born to alleviate the situation of the oppressed of that time, especially of slaves, of those who implored fair treatment and freedom” (Congress of Colombia 1985, law 95, art. 1).

Here, in the Sanctuary of Saint Peter Claver, where the progress and application of human rights in Colombia continue to be studied and monitored in a systematic way, the Word of God speaks to us of forgiveness, correction, community and prayer.

In the fourth sermon of Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus speaks to us, who have decided to support the community, to us, who value life together and dream of a project that includes everyone. The preceding text is that of the good shepherd who leaves the ninety-nine sheep to go after the one that is lost. This fact pervades the entire text: there is no one too lost to deserve our care, our closeness and our forgiveness. From this perspective, we can see that a fault or a sin committed by one person challenges us all, but involves, primarily, the victim of someone’s sin.  He or she is called to take the initiative so that whoever has caused the harm is not lost.

During these past few days I have heard many testimonies from those who have reached out to people who had harmed them; terrible wounds that I could see in their own bodies; irreparable losses that still bring tears. Yet they have reached out, have taken a first step on a different path to the one already travelled. For decades Colombia has yearned for peace but, as Jesus teaches, two sides approaching each other to dialogue is not enough; it has also been necessary to involve many more actors in this dialogue aimed at healing sins. The Lord tells us in the Gospel: “If your brother does not listen to you, take one or two others along with you” (Mt 18:16).

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Pope Francis Blessing at Homeless Shelter Cartagena

Posted on Sep 10, 2017

COLOMBIA – Cartagena– 10.09.2017 – 10.30 St Francis Square Blessing and laying of the corner-stones for homeless shelters and Talitha Qum works Blessing of the Holy


WORKING TRANSLATIONHoly See Press Office


 

Let us pray.
Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of mercy,
Who in your Son You have given us
an admirable example of charity
and through Him you have strongly recommended to us the commandment to love;
fill with your blessings
these servants of yours,
who wish to devote themselves generously
to the help of their brothers;
so that, in urgent needs,
they may serve you faithfully and fully
in the person of their neighbor.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

[Pope Francis]

Pope Francis Address at La Macarena

Posted on Sep 10, 2017

COLOMBIA – Medellín – 09.09.2017 – 16.00
La Macarena Stadium

Encounter with priests, religious, consecrated persons, seminarians and their families

Address of the Holy Father


OFFICIAL TRANSLATIONHoly See Press Office


Dear Brother Bishops,
Dear Priests, Men and Women Religious, and Seminarians,
Dear Families, Dear “Paisas”!

The parable of the true vine which we have just heard from the Gospel of John is given within the context of Jesus’ Last Supper. In that intimate moment, marked by a certain tension but full of love, the Lord washed the feet of his disciples, and wished to perpetuate his memory in the bread and wine, as he spoke from the depths of his heart to those he loved the most.

In this first “Eucharistic” night, in this first sunset after his example of service, Jesus opens his heart; he entrusts to them his testament. Just as the Apostles, some women and Mary, the Mother of Jesus (cf. Acts 1: 13-14) continued to meet in that Upper Room, so too we are gathered here together to listen to him, to listen to one another. Sister Leidy of Saint Joseph, María Isabel and Father Juan Felipe have offered us their testimonies… So also each of us here could share our own vocation story. All these would converge in our experience of Jesus who comes to meet us, who chooses us first, thus seizing our hearts. As Aparecida says: “Knowing Jesus is the best gift that any person can receive; that we have encountered him is the best thing that has happened in our lives, and making him known by our word and deeds is our joy” (Aparecida Document, 29).

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Pope Francis Homily At Enrique Olaya Herrera Airport

Posted on Sep 10, 2017

COLOMBIA – Medellín – 09.09.2017 – 10.15
Enrique Olaya Herrera Airport
Holy Mass
Homily of the Holy Father


OFFICIAL TRANSLATIONHoly See Press Office


“The Christian Life as Discipleship”

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

During the Mass on Thursday in Bogotá, we heard Jesus calling his first disciples; the part of Luke’s Gospel which opens with this passage, concludes with the call of the Twelve. What are the evangelists reminding us of between these two events? That this journey of following Jesus involved a great work of purification in his first followers. Some of the precepts, prohibitions and mandates made them feel secure; fulfilling certain practices and rites dispensed them from the uncomfortable question: “What would God like us to do?” The Lord Jesus tells them that their fulfilment involves following him, and that this journey will make them encounter lepers, paralytics and sinners. These realities demand much more than a formula, an established norm. The disciples learned that following Jesus presupposes other priorities, other considerations in order to serve God. For the Lord, as also for the first community, it is of the greatest importance that we who call ourselves disciples not cling to a certain style or to particular practices that cause us to be more like some Pharisees than like Jesus. Jesus’ freedom contrasts with the lack of freedom seen in the doctors of the law of that time, who were paralyzed by a rigorous interpretation and practice of that law. Jesus does not live according to a superficially “correct” observance; he brings the law to its fullness. This is what he wants for us, to follow him in such a way as to go to what is essential, to be renewed, and to get involved. These are three attitudes that must form our lives as disciples.

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Pope Francis Greeting At Hogar San Jose

Posted on Sep 10, 2017

COLOMBIA – Medellín – 09.09.2017 – 15.00
Encounter in the Hogar San José
Greeting of the Holy Father


OFFICIAL TRANSLATIONHoly See Press Office


Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Dear Boys and Girls,

I am very happy to be with you here at “Saint Joseph’s Home”. Thank you for the welcome you prepared for me. I am grateful also to the director, Monsignor Armando Santamaría, for his words.

I wish to express my thanks to you, Claudia Yesenia, for your courageous testimony. Hearing all of the difficulties you experienced, I thought of the unjust suffering of so many boys and girls throughout the world, who have been and continue to be innocent victims of the evil that others commit.

The Baby Jesus was also a victim of hatred and persecution; he too had to run away with his family, to leave his country and his home, in order to escape death. To see children suffer, wounds our hearts because children are Jesus’ favourites. We can never accept that they are mistreated, that they are denied the right to live out their childhood peacefully and joyfully, that they are denied a future of hope.

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Pope Francis Address At National Prayer Meeting

Posted on Sep 8, 2017

COLOMBIA – Villavicencio – 08.09.2017 – 15.40
Parque Las Malocas Great prayer meeting for national reconciliation Address of the Holy Father


OFFICIAL TRANSLATION
Holy See Press Office


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I have been looking forward to this moment since my arrival in your country. You carry in your hearts and your flesh the signs of the recent, living memory of your people which is marked by tragic events, but also filled with heroic acts, great humanity, and the noble spiritual values of faith and hope. I come here with respect and with a clear awareness that, like Moses, I am standing on sacred ground (cf. Ex 3:5). A land watered by the blood of thousands of innocent victims and by the heart-breaking sorrow of their families and friends. Wounds that are hard to heal and that hurt us all, because every act of violence committed against a human being is a wound in humanity’s flesh; every violent death diminishes us as people.

I am here not so much to speak, but to be close to you and to see you with my own eyes, to listen to you and to open my heart to your witness of life and faith. And if you will allow me, I wish also to embrace you and weep with you. I would like us to pray together and to forgive one another – I also need to ask forgiveness – so that, together, we can all look and walk forward in faith and hope.

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Pope Francis’ Homily From Mass In Catama, Colombia

Posted on Sep 8, 2017

COLOMBIA – Villavicencio – 08.09.2017 – 09.30
Holy Mass in Catama
Homily of the Holy Father


OFFICIAL TRANSLATION
Holy See Press Office


“To be reconciled in God, with Colombians and with Creation”

“Your birth, O Virgin Mother of God, is the new dawn that proclaims joy to the whole world, for from you has been born the sun of justice, Christ our God” (cf. Antiphon for the Benedictus). The feast of the birth of Mary shines its light over us, just as the gentle light of dawn radiates above the vast Colombian plain, this beautiful landscape whose gateway is Villavicencio, and shines its light too upon the rich diversity of its indigenous peoples.

Mary is the first light who announces night’s end, and above all, the impending day. Her birth helps us to understand the loving, tender, compassionate plan of love in which God reaches down and calls us to a wonderful covenant with him, that nothing and no one will be able to break.

Mary knew how to transmit God’s light, and she reflected the rays of that light in her home which she shared with Joseph and Jesus, reflecting it also in her people, her country and that home which is common to all mankind: creation.

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Pope Francis Homily At Simon Bolivar Park Bogota

Posted on Sep 7, 2017

COLOMBIA – Bogotá – 07.09.2017 – 16.30 Simón Bolívar Park
Holy Mass – Homily of the Holy Father


OFFICIAL TRANSLATION
Holy See Press Office


“Artisans of Peace, Promoters of Life”

The Gospel writer tells us that the calling of the first disciples happened along the shore of Lake Gennesaret, where the people came together to hear a voice capable of guiding them and illuminating them; it was also the place where fishermen used to bring their tiring days to an end, where they looked for sustenance in order to live a dignified and happy life, one not lacking the basic necessities.  It is the only time in the whole Gospel of Luke that Jesus preaches near the Sea of Galilee.  On the open sea their hopes for a bountiful catch are turned into frustration with what seem to be pointless and wasted efforts. According to an ancient Christian interpretation, the sea also represents the vastness where all peoples live; because of its turmoil and darkness, it evokes everything that threatens human existence and that has the power to destroy it.

We use similar expressions to define crowds: a human tide, a sea of people.  That day, Jesus had the sea behind him, and in front of him a crowd that followed him because they knew how deeply moved he was by human suffering… and they knew of his impartial, profound, and true words.  Everyone came to hear him; the word of Jesus has something special that leaves no one indifferent; his word has the power to convert hearts, to change plans and projects.  It is a word demonstrated by action, not academic findings, cold agreements, removed from people’s pain; for his is a word valid both for the safety of the shore and the fragility of the sea.

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Pope Francis Address to CELAM Bogota

Posted on Sep 7, 2017

COLOMBIA – Bogotá – 07.09.2017 – 15.00 Apostolic Nunciature
Meeting with the Executive Committee of CELAM Address of the Holy Father


OFFICIAL TRANSLATION

Holy See Press Office


Dear Brothers,

I thank you for our meeting and for the warm words of welcome by the President of the Latin American Episcopal Council. Were it not for the demands of my schedule, I would have liked to visit you at the CELAM offices. I thank you for your thoughtfulness in meeting me here.

I appreciate your efforts to make this continental Episcopal Conference a home at the service of communion and the mission of the Church in Latin America, as well as a centre for fostering a sense of discipleship and missionary spirit. Over these decades of service to communion, CELAM has also become a vital point of reference for the development of a deeper understanding of Latin American Catholicism. I take this occasion to encourage your recent efforts to express this collegial concern through the Solidarity Fund of the Latin American Church.

Four years ago, in Rio de Janeiro, I spoke to you about the pastoral legacy of Aparecida, the last synodal event of the Church in Latin America and the Caribbean. I stressed the continuing need to learn from its method, marked in essence by the participation of the local Churches and attuned to God’s pilgrim people as they seek his humble face revealed in the Virgin fished from the waters. That method is also reflected in the continental mission, which is not meant to be a collection of programmes that fill agendas and waste precious energies. Instead, it is meant to place the mission of Jesus at the heart of the Church, making it the criterion for measuring the effectiveness of her structures, the results of her labours, the fruitfulness of her ministers and the joy they awaken. For without joy, we attract no one.

I went on to mention the ever-present temptations of making the Gospel an ideology, ecclesial functionalism and clericalism. At stake is the salvation that Christ brings us, which has to touch the hearts of men and women by its power and appealing to their freedom, inviting them to a permanent exodus from themselves and their self-absorption, towards fellowship with God and with our brothers and sisters.

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