Sunday, January 5, 2014


VATICAN REPORT: At 12 am today, the Holy Father Francis appeared at the window of the study in the Vatican Apostolic Palace to pray the Angelus with faithful and pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square.
These are the words of the Pope in introducing the Marian prayer:
● Before the Angelus
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
The liturgy of this Sunday before us again, in the Prologue of the Gospel of St. John, the deeper meaning of Christmas Jesus He is the Word of God who became man and he has put his "tent," his dwelling among men. The Evangelist writes: "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us" ( Jn 1:14). In these words, which never cease to amaze us, there is all the Christianity! God became mortal, frail like us, he shared our human condition, except sin, but took upon himself our as if they were their own. It 'came in our history, became fully God-with-us! The birth of Jesus, then, shows us that God wanted to join every man and woman, to every one of us, to communicate his life and his joy.
So God is God with us, God who loves us, God who walks with us. This is the message of Christmas: the Word was made flesh. So Christmas reveals the immense love of God for humanity. Hence the enthusiasm, the hope of Christians, in our poverty that we know to be loved, to be visited, to be accompanied by God, and look at the world and in history as the place where to walk with him and between us, towards the new heavens and the new earth. With the birth of Jesus was born a new promise, a new world is born, but also a world that can always be renewed. God is always present to raise new men to cleanse the world of sin that gets old, the sin that corrupts. As human history and that of each of us may be marked by difficulties and weaknesses, faith in the Incarnation tells us that God is in solidarity with the man and his history. This proximity of God to man, every man, every one of us, is a gift that never sets! He is with us! He is God with us! And this close to never sets. Here is the good news of Christmas: the divine light that filled the hearts of the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph, and guided the steps of the shepherds and the magi, shines for us today.
In the mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God, there is also an aspect of human freedom, the freedom of each of us. In fact, the Word of God pitches his tent among us, sinners in need of mercy. And we should all rush to receive the grace that He offers us. Instead, he continues the Gospel of St. John, "his people received him not" (v. 11). We, too many times we reject it, we prefer to stay in the closure of our mistakes and anguish of our sins. But Jesus does not give up and never ceases to offer himself and his grace that saves us! Jesus is patient, Jesus knows how to wait, there is always waiting. This is a message of hope, a message of salvation, ancient and ever new. And we are called to witness to the Gospel message with this joy of life, the Gospel of light, hope and love. Because the message of Jesus is this: life, light, hope, love.
Mary, Mother of God and our loving Mother, always sustain us, because we remain faithful to our Christian vocation and carry out the wishes of justice and peace that we carry within us the beginning of this new year.
[00007-01.01] [Original text: Italian]



(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis will make a papal visit to the Holy Land in May of this year. The Holy Father made the announcement after the recitation of the Sunday Angelus overlooking a rainy St Peter’s Square. Speaking to pilgrims who braved the elements to hear his words, the Pope said, “in the climate of joy, typical of this Christmas season , I wish to announce that from 24 to 26 May next, God willing, I will make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land . 
The Holy Father went on to say that the main purpose of the trip is to commemorate the historic meeting between Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras, which took place on January 5th , 50 years ago.
During his journey, Pope Francis told those present, that he would be visiting Amman, Bethlehem and Jerusalem. He also said there would be an Ecumenical Meeting held at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre with the representatives of the Christian Churches of Jerusalem, together with Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople. He ended his announcement by saying, “As of now I ask you to pray for this pilgrimage.”

Before the Angelus the Pope described how Christmas reveals the immense love God has for humanity. He added that “with the birth of Jesus not only is a new world born, but it is also a world that can always be renewed . God, said Pope Francis, is always present to nurture men and women and to cleanse the world of sin and he stressed that Jesus does not give up on us and never ceases to offer himself and his grace that saves us. The Holy Father concluded by thanking all those who had sent him messages of good wishes for Christmas and the New Year. 

SHARED from Vatican Radio