After venerating the body of Padre Pio, Pope Francisco declares: crucifix is ​​not an accessory

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“The image of Jesus crucified reveals the mystery of the death of the Son as the supreme act of love”

Pope Francis prayed the Marian prayer of the Angelus this Sunday (18/03) with the faithful and pilgrims from various parts of the world, present in St. Peter’s Square.

This Sunday’s Gospel tells the story of the last days of Jesus’ life in Jerusalem for the Passover feast. Some Greeks also participated in this ritual celebration. “These are men who are animated by religious sentiments, attracted by the faith of the Jewish people and who, having heard of this great prophet, approach Philip, one of the twelve apostles, and say to him: ‘We want to see Jesus.'”

“The reaction of Jesus is surprising. He does not answer with a yes or a no but says, “The hour has come when the Son of Man will be glorified.” These words, which at first glance seem to ignore the question of the Greeks, actually give the true answer, because whoever wants to know Jesus must look inside the cross where his glory is revealed. Look within the cross. ”

“Today’s Gospel invites us to direct our gaze to the crucifix, which is not an object of decoration or the accessory of a clothing, sometimes abused! ”

“But a religious sign to be contemplated and understood. In the image of Jesus crucified the mystery of the death of the Son is revealed as the supreme act of love, source of life and salvation for humanity of all time. In his wounds we are healed. ”

“I can think, how do I look at the crucifix? As a work of art, to see if it is beautiful or ugly? Do I look from within, enter the wounds of Jesus to your heart? Do I look at the mystery of the God who has annihilated himself to death, as a slave, as a criminal? Do not forget this: look at the crucifix, but look inside. ”

“There is this beautiful devotion of praying a Lord’s Prayer in one of the five wounds: when we pray this Our Father, let us seek to enter into the wounds of Jesus in his heart.”

“There we will learn the great wisdom of the mystery of Christ, the great wisdom of the cross.”

To explain the meaning of his resurrection, Jesus uses an image and says, “If the grain of wheat that falls on the earth does not die, it remains alone; but if it dies, then it bears much fruit. ”

“He wants to make it clear that his extreme event, namely, the cross, death and resurrection, is an act of fecundity, his wounds have healed us. A fecundity that will bear fruit for many. Thus he compares himself to the grain of wheat that dies on the earth begets new life. ”

“With the incarnation, Jesus came into the world; but this is not enough: He must also die to rescue men from the slavery of sin and give them a new life reconciled in love. I said to rescue the men: to rescue me, rescue you, all of us, each of us. He paid that price. This is the mystery of Christ. Go to his wounds, enter and contemplate. Look at Jesus from within. ”

According to the Pope, “this dynamism of the grain of wheat, realized in Jesus, must also be fulfilled in us his disciples.” “We are called to make ours this paschal law of losing the life to receive it new and also eternal.”

Then Francis asked, “What does it mean to lose your life? What does it mean to be a grain of wheat? It means thinking less about yourself, your personal interests, and knowing how to “see” and meet the needs of your neighbor, especially the latter.

“To carry out charitable works with joy to those who suffer in body and spirit is the most authentic way of living the Gospel, it is the necessary foundation for our communities to grow in fraternity and reciprocal welcome. I want to see Jesus, but see him from within. Enter your wounds and contemplate the love of your heart for you, for me, for all. ”

Pope recalls visit to Pietrelcina and San Giovanni Rotondo

After the Marian prayer of the Angelus, the Pope greeted all the faithful present in St. Peter’s Square from Italy and various parts of the world. He also welcomed the Italian Folk Union.

Francis recalled his pastoral visit on Saturday (17/03) to Pietrelcina and San Giovanni Rotondo, in the footsteps of St. Padre Pio.

“Yesterday, I visited Pietrelcina and San Giovanni Rotondo. I greet with affection and I thank the diocesan communities of Benevento and Manfredonia, the bishops, Dom Accrocca and Castoro, the consecrated, faithful and authorities. I am grateful for the warm welcome and I take everyone in the heart, especially the patients of the “House of Suffering”, the elderly and the young. I thank those who prepared this visit that I will not forget. May Padre Pio bless you all. ”

(Vatican Radio)

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