VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Mercy and personal conversion must be in the hearts of those who serve the poor and innocent victims of violence, Pope Francis said.
“Scenes of violence pass in front of our eyes every day, merciless faces, hardened and desolate hearts. We have so much need to remind ourselves of the Father, whose heart thinks of all and desires the salvation of every man and woman,” the pope told lay and religious men and women of the Society of the Catholic Apostolate, also known as the Pallottine community.
Christians must draw inspiration from Jesus’ life and renew their trust in God to fulfill their mission to serve others, the pope told the group Oct. 10.
As the “first and greatest evangelizer,” Jesus reminds Christians that in every “activity of evangelization, the primacy belongs to God” and that “mercy is the strength that conquers all, that fills the heart with love and consoles with forgiveness,” he said.
“Contemplating the life of Jesus and looking at our life as pilgrims in this world with its many challenges, we feel the necessity of a profound conversion and the urgency of reviving faith in him,” the pope said. “This is the only way we can serve our neighbor in charity.”
Encouraging the members in their mission of service to those who are “spiritually and materially poor,” the pope reminded them of the “example of many of your brothers and sisters.”
While serving as archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Pope Francis opened the canonization cause of three priests and two seminarians of the Pallottine community who were murdered by the Argentinian military dictatorship in 1976.
“I, too, have known them during my pastoral service in Argentina and I cherish grateful memories of them,” he said.
By following in the footsteps of St. Vincent Pallotti, he said, the Pallottine community members are called to help those they meet “rediscover the immense love of God in our lives.”
“I encourage you to continue with joy and hope on your path, committing yourselves with all your heart and all your strength so that the charism of your founder can bring forth abundant fruits especially in our time,” Pope Francis said.
Help us keep you informed -- CatholicPhilly.com can't do it without youDuring CatholicPhilly.com's fall donation campaign, you have a way to help us deliver the kind of news you need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live. Every household's costs keep rising, and we're no different. We make sure your dollars in any amount go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month. Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can -- a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Or by credit card here: