Pope Francis explains "... the work of God of Love, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is the redemption of man: for this reason Christ shed his blood on the cross. As a ransom for us, for each of us." FULL TEXT



Sala Clementina
Monday, 25 April 2022

 Dear brothers and sisters, good morning and welcome!

I am pleased to welcome you who participate in the Convention of "International Trinitarian Solidarity", an expression of the Order of the Most Holy Trinity. I thank the Superior General for his words of greeting and introduction.

It struck me positively to see how you were able to actualize the charism of the Order by giving life to this organization, which defends religious freedom not in a theoretical way, but by taking care of people persecuted and imprisoned because of their faith. At the same time, however, there is no lack of study and reflection on your part, which also find ways of expressing themselves in the academic field through the course of studies on religious freedom at the Angelicum , a chair named after your founder Saint John de Matha.

I congratulate you on this commitment that you carry out precisely by drawing on the original charism. We go back over eight centuries, to the time of St. Francis of Assisi. The Holy Spirit raised up at that time - as he always does, in every age - witnesses capable of responding according to the Gospel to the challenges of the moment. Giovanni de Matha was called by Christ to give his life for the liberation of slaves, both Christians and Muslims. He did not want to do it alone, individually, but for this purpose he founded a new Order, an "outgoing" order, new also in the form of life, which was to be an apostolate "in the world". And Pope Innocent III gave his approval and full support of him.

"Order of the Holy Trinity and captives ", that is, of slaves, prisoners. This pairing also makes us reflect: the Trinity and the slaves . One cannot but think of the first "sermon" of Jesus in the synagogue of Nazareth, when he read the passage from the prophet Isaiah: «The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; / for this he consecrated me with the anointing / and sent me to bring the good news to the poor, / to proclaim liberation to the prisoners / [...] to set the oppressed free "( Lk 4:18; cf. Is61.1-2). Jesus is sent by the Father and is moved by the Holy Spirit. In him the whole Trinity is at work. And the work of God of Love, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is the redemption of man: for this reason Christ shed his blood on the cross. As a ransom for us, for each of us. This work extends into the mission of the whole Church. But in your Order he found a singular, peculiar, I would say “literal” expression - a bit like poverty in Francis -, that is, the commitment to redeem slaves. "To redeem". And to redeem someone you have to pay, and you pay the price with your life. That's beautiful.

This charisma is flagrantly topical, unfortunately! It is so because even in our time, which boasts of having abolished slavery, in reality there are many, too many men and women, even children reduced to living in inhuman conditions, enslaved. And it is because, as your conference aptly points out, religious freedom is violated, at times trampled on in many places and in different ways, some crude and obvious, others subtle and hidden. At one time, there was a habit of dividing humanity between good and bad: "This country is good ..." - "But make bombs!" - “No, it's good” - “And this is bad…”. No, today wickedness has pervaded everyone and in all countries there are good and bad. The wickedness, today, is everywhere, in all states. Even in the Vatican, perhaps!

Dear friends, I thank you for your work and I encourage you to carry it forward, also by collaborating with other institutions, ecclesial and otherwise, which share your noble purpose. But, please, without losing your specificity, without "watering down" the charisma. May Our Lady and Saint John de Matha always accompany the journey of the Order and the service of International Trinitarian Solidarity. I bless you from my heart. And please don't forget to pray for me. Thanks!


After the photo I will greet you, but excuse me, I have to do it sitting, not standing, because the knee ... It is that disease that was once called "nun's pain", because it was the time in which the nuns prayed, and for so much praying on their knees they got sick! This will heal, but in the meantime we have to do things right.