LITURGY OF THE WORD
AND SIGNATURE OF THE LETTER ON THE PRESEPIO
( Pope Francis prayed at the site where Saint Francis of Assisi created the first nativity scene in 1223. Here frescoes from the 14th century are still visible on the cave’s walls, depicting Mary breastfeeding the Christ Child and Saint Francis kneeling in adoration. While there he signed an important document on the importance of the Creche)
Sanctuary of Greccio (Rieti)Sunday, 1 December 2019
Words to the Friars of Greccio
Short meditation by the Holy Father
Apostolic Letter "Admirabile signum" on the meaning and value of the crib
WORDS OF THE HOLY FATHER TO THE FRIARS
The greatest message of Francis is the testimony. That phrase: "Preach the Gospel, if it were necessary also with words". It is not a matter of proselytizing, of convincing. The last, the sinners ... The testimony. He made us from the earth, as the Book of Genesis says, He made us earth, we are earth ... He fell in love with our earth ... The testimony of Jesus' love ... Poverty, humility ... Thanks.
Thanks for your visit! We pray for her ...
I need it.
SHORT MEDITATION OF THE HOLY FATHER
How many thoughts crowd the mind in this holy place! And yet, before the rock of these mountains so dear to St. Francis, what we are called to do is, first of all, rediscover simplicity.
The nativity scene, which for the first time San Francesco realized in this small space, in imitation of the narrow cave of Bethlehem, speaks for itself. Here there is no need to multiply words, because the scene that is placed under our eyes expresses the wisdom we need to capture the essential.
In front of the crib we discover how important it is for our life, so often frenetic, to find moments of silence and prayer. Silence, to contemplate the beauty of the face of the child Jesus, the Son of God born in the poverty of a stable. Prayer, to express the "thank you" amazed by this immense gift of love that is done to us.
The great mystery of our faith is manifested in this simple and admirable sign of the nativity scene, which popular piety welcomed and transmitted from generation to generation: God loves us to the point of sharing our humanity and our life. He never leaves us alone; he accompanies us with his hidden but not invisible presence. In every circumstance, in joy as in pain, He is the Emmanuel, God with us.
Like the shepherds of Bethlehem, we welcome the invitation to go to the cave, to see and recognize the sign that God has given us. Then our heart will be full of joy, and we will be able to take it where there is sadness; it will be filled with hope, to be shared with those who have lost it.
Let us identify ourselves in Mary, who laid her Son in the manger, because there was no place in a house. With her and with Saint Joseph, her husband, we look to the Child Jesus. His smile, blossomed in the night, scatters indifference and opens hearts to the joy of those who feel loved by the Father who is in heaven.