Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "God is not afraid of new things. That is why he is continually surprising us, opening our hearts and guiding us in unexpected ways," said Pope Francis during the Mass that closed the extraordinary assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelisation.
For the Holy Father, "It has been a great experience in which we have lived synodality and collegiality, and felt the power of the Holy Spirit who constantly guides and renews the Church. For the Church is called to waste no time in seeking to bind up open wounds and to rekindle hope in so many people who have lost hope."
"May the Holy Spirit, who during these busy days has enabled us to work generously, in true freedom and humble creativity, continue to guide the journey which, in the Churches throughout the world, is bringing us to the Ordinary Synod of Bishops in October 2015. We have sown and we continued to sow, patiently and perseveringly, in the certainty that it is the Lord who gives growth to what we have sown."
The reference to sowing takes on a particular meaning on the day in which, together with the closing of the Synod, the pope beatified his predecessor, Pope Paul VI, "the great helmsman of the Council", who - among the many innovations he introduced - created the Synod of Bishops.
On that occasion, Francis noted, Paul VI said, "by carefully surveying the signs of the times, we are making every effort to adapt ways and methods [. . .] to the growing needs of our time and the changing conditions of society." Indeed, in 1965, as the Council was drawing to a close, the Church and the world were on the eve of momentous hardships.
Speaking about Pope Paul VI, Francis noted that "He was a staunch supporter of the missio ad gentes, as especially evinced in the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi with which he sought to awaken enthusiasm and commitment to the mission of the Church. It is significant to consider this aspect of Paul VI's pontificate, in particular today when we celebrate the World Mission Day. "
At 10:47 am, when Pope Francis proclaimed the new Blessed, the crowd of 80,000 in St Peter's Square broke out in a long applause. Many of them came from Brescia province where Pope Montini was born, and from Milan, where he served as archbishop.
The "Synod Fathers" were also present at the Mass. Indeed, "pastors and lay people from every part of the world have come to Rome," Francis said, "bringing the voice of their particular Churches in order to help today's families walk the path the Gospel with their gaze fixed on Jesus".
"For the gift of this Synod and for the constructive spirit which everyone has shown, in union with the Apostle Paul 'we give thanks to God always for you all, constantly mentioning you in our prayers' (1 Th 1:2). May the Holy Spirit, who during these busy days has enabled us to work generously, in true freedom and humble creativity, continue to guide the journey which, in the Churches throughout the world, is bringing us to the Ordinary Synod of Bishops in October 2015."