Pope Francis says "As brothers and sisters of Jesus, Mary is also our Mother. Let's form a family with Jesus and Mary!" FULL TEXT + Video from Vatican



Paul VI Audience Hall - Wednesday, 8 September 2021


Catechesis on the Letter to the Galatians: 8. We are children of God

Brothers and sisters, good morning!

Let us continue our journey in deepening the faith – our faith – in the light of the Letter of Saint Paul to the Galatians. The Apostle is insistent with those Christians so they would not forget the novelty of God’s revelation that had been proclaimed to them.  

 Completely in agreement with the evangelist John (cf. 1 Jn 3:1-2), Paul emphasises that faith in Jesus Christ has allowed us to truly become children of God and also his heirs. We Christians often take for granted this reality of being God’s children. Instead, it is good to remember with gratitude the moment in which we became such, the moment of our baptism, so as to live the great gift we received with greater awareness. If I were to ask you today, “which of you knows the exact date of your baptism?” I do not think there would be too many hands raised…. Yet, it is the day on which we were saved, it is the day on which we became children of God. Now, those who do not know it should ask their godparents, their dad, their mom, an uncle, an aunt: “When was I baptised”? And that day should be remembered each year: it is the day on which we became children of God. Agreed? Will you all do this? [Response from the crowd.] Eh, it is a so-so “yes”. [Laughter]. Let us proceed.

In fact, once “faith has come” in Jesus Christ (v. 25), a radically new condition was created that leads to divine sonship. The sonship of which Paul speaks is no longer a general one involving all men and women insofar as they are sons and daughters of the same Creator. No, in the passage we have heard, he affirms that faith allows us to be children of God “in Christ” (v. 26). This is what is new. This “in Christ” is what makes the difference. Not just children of God, like everyone: all men and women are children of God, all of them, regardless of the religion we embrace. No. But “in Christ”, this is what makes the difference for Christians, and this happens only by participating in Christ’s redemption, and in us in the sacrament of baptism: this is how it begins. Jesus became our brother, and by his death and resurrection he has reconciled us with the Father. Anyone who accepts Christ in faith, has “put on” Christ and his filial dignity through baptism (cf. v. 27). This is what it says in verse 27.

In his Letters, Saint Paul makes reference to baptism more than one time. For him, to be baptized was the same as taking part effectively and truly in the mystery of Jesus. For example, in the Letter to the Romans, he would even go so far as to say that in baptism we have died with Christ and have been buried with him so as to live with him (cf. 6:3-14). Dead with Christ, buried with him so as to live with him. This is the grace of baptism: to participate in the death and resurrection of Jesus. Baptism, therefore, is not merely an external rite. Those who receive it are transformed deep within, in their inmost being, and possess new life, which is precisely what allows them to turn to God and call on him with the name of “Abba”, that is, “daddy”. “Father”? No: “daddy” (cf. Gal 4:6).

The Apostle audaciously confirms that the identity received with baptism is so completely new that it prevails over the differences that exist on the ethnic-religious level. That is, he explains it thus: “There is neither Jew nor Greek”, even on the social plain, “there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female” (Gal 3:28). We often read these expressions way too quickly, without grasping the revolutionary value they possess. For Paul, to write to the Galatians that in Christ “there is neither Jew nor Greek” was equivalent to an authentic subversion in the ethnic-religious sphere. By the fact of belonging to a chosen people, the Jew was privileged over the pagan (cf. Rom 2:17-20).  – as the Letter to the Romans says, chapter 2, verses 17 to 20; Paul himself affirms this (cf. Rom 9:4-5). It is not surprising, therefore, that this new teaching by the Apostle could sound heretical. “What, everyone equal? We are different!” It sounds a bit heretical, doesn’t it? Even the second set of equalities, between those who were “free” and those who were “slaves”, introduced a shocking perspective. The distinction between slaves and free citizens was vital in ancient society. By law, free citizens enjoyed all rights, while the human dignity of slaves was not even recognized. This happens even today. There are many people in the world, many, millions, who do not have the right to eat, who do not have the right to education, who do not have the right to work. They are the new slaves. They are the ones who live on the margins, who are exploited by everyone. Slavery exists even today – let us think a little bit about this. Human dignity is denied to these people. They are slaves. Thus, finally, equality in Christ overcomes the social differences between the two sexes, establishing an equality between man and woman which was revolutionary at the time and which needs to be reaffirmed even today. This needs to be reaffirmed even today. How many times we hear expressions that denigrate women! How often we hear: “But no, do not do anything, those are women’s concerns”. But, look, men and women have the same dignity. And it has happened in history, even today, a type of slavery of women: women do not have the same opportunities as men. We have to read what Paul says: we are equal in Christ Jesus.

As we can see, Paul confirms the profound unity that exists between all the baptized, in whatever condition they are bound to, whether men or women – equal because every one of them is a new creature in Christ. Every distinction becomes secondary to the dignity of being children of God, who, through his love, creates a real and substantial equality. Everyone, through Christ’s redemption and the baptism we have received, we are all equal: children of God. Equal.

Brothers and sisters, we are, therefore, called in a more positive way to live a new life that roots its foundational expression in being children of God. Equal because we are children of God; and children of God because Christ redeemed us and we attained this dignity through baptism. It is decisive even for all of us today to rediscover the beauty of being children of God, to be brothers and sisters among ourselves, because we have been united in Christ, who redeemed us. The differences and contrasts that separation creates should not exist among believers in Christ. And one of the apostles, in the Letter of James, says this: “Be aware about differences, because it is not right that when someone enters the assembly (that is, the Mass) wearing a gold ring and well-dressed, ‘Ah, come up here, up here!’, and you give him one of the front seats. Then, if someone else enters, obviously poor, who can just about cover himself and you see he is poor, poor, poor, ‘Oh, yeah, you can go over there in the back’.” We create these differences, many times unconsciously so. No, we are equal! Rather, our vocation is that of making concrete and evident the call to unity of the entire human race (cf Conc. Ecum. Vat. II, Cost. Lumen gentium, 1). Everything that exacerbates the differences between people, often causing discrimination – all of this, before God, no longer has any basis, thanks to the salvation effected in Christ. What is important is that faith that operates according to the path of unity indicated by the Holy Spirit. And our responsibility is that of journeying decisively on along this path of equality, but an equality that is sustained, that was created by the redemption of Jesus. And do not forget when you go home: “When was I baptized?” Inquire about out so as to always have the date in mind. And when the date comes, it can be celebrated. Thank you.



New Year's Day will be celebrated in Ethiopia this coming 11 September. I extend to the Ethiopian people my most cordial and heart-felt greetings, particularly to those who are suffering due to the ongoing conflict and the serious humanitarian situation it has caused. May this be a moment of fraternity and solidarity so that the common desire for peace can be heard.


Special Greetings

I cordially greet the English-speaking faithful. My thoughts turn especially to young people returning to school in the coming weeks. Dear young people, may this academic year be for all of you a time of educational growth and deepening of the bonds of friendship. Upon you and your families I invoke the wisdom and joy of our Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you!

Je salue cordialment les pèlerins de langue française. En ce jour où nous célébrons la Nativité de la Vierge Marie, demandons à notre Mère de nous aider à redécouvrir la beauté de notre condition d'enfants de Dieu, et, dépassant les différences et les conflits, de nous aider à vivre comme des frères . Que Dieu vous bénisse.

I cordially greet the French-speaking pilgrims. On this day when we celebrate the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, we ask our Mother to help us rediscover the beauty of being children of God and, overcoming differences and conflicts, to help us live as brothers. God bless you. ]

Herzlich grüße ich die Pilger und Besucher deutscher Sprache! Heute lädt uns die Kirche ein, den Geburtstag von Maria, der Mutter Jesu zu feiern. From wir Brüder und Schwestern Jesu sind, dürfen wir Maria als unsere Mutter betrachten. Wir sind eine Familie mit Jesus und Maria. Die selige Jungfrau möge euch allezeit behüten und begleiten.

I cordially greet the German-speaking pilgrims! Today the Church invites us to celebrate the day of the Nativity of Mary, Mother of the Lord. As brothers and sisters of Jesus, Mary is also our Mother. Let's form a family with Jesus and Mary! May the Blessed Virgin protect you and accompany you always. ]

I cordially greet los fieles de lengua española. The invitation to redescubrir the beauty of ser hijos and hijas de Dios, ya dar gracias por el don recibido en el bautismo, que nos hace hermanos y hermanas en Cristo, miembros de la Iglesia y partícipes de su misión en el mundo.
Y en este día, los Cubanos celebran a su Patrona y Madre, the Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre. With a recuerdo agradecido de mi peregrinación a su Santuario, in septiembre de 2015, quiero presentar nuevamente a los pies de la Virgen de la Caridad la vida, los sueños, las esperanzas y dolores del pueblo de Cuba. Que dondequiera que haya hoy un Cubano , experimente la ternura de María, y que Ella los conduzca to todos hacia Cristo, el Salvador. Que el Señor los bendiga. Muchas gracias.

Dirijo uma cordial saudação aos fiéis de língua portuguesa, particularly to the Brazilian community “Nossa Senhora Aparecida” in Rome. Queridos amigos, no batismo fomos santificados no name from Santíssima Trindade. Peçamos a graça de poder viver os nossos compromissos batismais como verdadeiros imitadores de Jesus, or Filho de Deus, guiados pelo Espírito Santo, para a glória do Pai. Obrigado.

I address a cordial greeting to the Portuguese-speaking faithful, in particular to the Brazilian community “Nossa Senhora Aparecida” in Rome. Dear friends, in baptism we were sanctified in the name of the Most Holy Trinity. We ask for the grace to be able to live our baptismal commitments as true imitators of Jesus, the Son of God, guided by the Holy Spirit, for the glory of the Father. Thanks. ]

أُحيِّي المُؤْمِنِينَ الناطِقِينَ باللُغَةِ العَرَبِيَّة. أنتم الفتيان والشباب والطلاب والمعلمين الذين عدتم إلى المدرسة في هذه الأيام, ليساعدكم الرب يسوع أن تحافظوا على الإيمان, وأن تزرعوا العلم لتصبحوا أبطال مستقبل أفضل فيه تنعم البشرية بالسلام والأخوة والطمأنينة. بارَكَكُم الرَّبُّ جَميعًا وَحَماكُم دائِمًا مِنْ كُلِّ شَرّ!

I greet the Arabic-speaking faithful. You children, young people, students and teachers who are going back to school these days, may the Lord help you to preserve the faith and cultivate science, to become protagonists of a better future, in which humanity can enjoy peace, brotherhood and calm. The Lord bless you all and always protect you from all evil! ]

Pozdrawiam serdecznie wszystkich Polaków. Wyrażam radość z bliskiej już beatyfikacji kardynała Stefana Wyszyńskiego i matki Elżbiety Róży Czackiej. Niech duchowy testament Prymasa Tysiąclecia: „Wszystko postawiłem na Maryję” i ufność matki Elżbiety Róży pokładana w Krzyżu Chrystusa będą zawsze mocą waszego narodu. O kardynale Wyszyńskim św. Jan Paweł II wypowiedział historyczne słowa: „Nie byłoby na Stolicy Piotrowej tego Papieża-Polaka gdyby nie było Twojej wiary, niecofającej się przed więzieniem i cierpieniem, Twojej heroicznej nadziewice res. Niech Bóg błogosławi Polskę. Niech was wspierają wasi wielcy święci i błogosławieni.

I cordially greet all the Poles. I express my joy at the forthcoming beatification of Cardinal Stefano Wyszyński and Mother Elisabetta Rosa Czacka. May the spiritual testament of the Millennium Primate: "I entrust everything to Mary" and the confidence of Mother Elizabeth Rosa in the Cross of Christ always be the strength of your nation. On Cardinal Wyszyński, St. John Paul II pronounced the historic words: "On the See of Peter there would not be this Polish Pope, if it were not for your faith, which did not bow before prison and suffering, your heroic hope. , your trust completely in the Mother of the Church ”. God bless Poland. May your great saints and blesseds support you. ]