VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Christians embrace the lowliest and those most in need, treasuring and living out the simplicity of faith received from mothers and grandmothers, Pope Francis said.

“From the simplicity of mothers, of grandmothers, this is the cornerstone. We are not princes, sons of princes or counts or barons, we are simple people, of common folk,” he told the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception at the Vatican Feb. 18.

“And this is why we draw near with this simplicity to those who are simple, to those who suffer the most: the sick, children, the abandoned elderly, the poor, everyone,” he said.


Addressing members of the Marian Fathers general chapter, the pope highlighted the congregation’s charism: devotion to Mary, prayer for the deceased and service to God and the church wherever the need is greatest.

He encouraged them to keep alive this tradition of service to the poor and humble by bringing them the Gospel “with language understandable to them, with works of mercy.”

Pope Francis also emphasized the awareness of their founder, St. Stanislaus Papczynski, that even though human means and efforts are inadequate, with God nothing is impossible.

Even though everyone is a sinner, Christians have their eyes and faith on a broad open horizon, that is, “faith in the power of the Lord, that the Lord can, the Lord is capable.”

“Our smallness is precisely the seed, the tiny seed that then sprouts, grows, the Lord waters it and that is how it goes on,” he said.