Ceremony in the Vatican gardens. "Many say that consecrated life is going through a winter. It may be so ”. "In this situation, the great challenge is to cross the winter to flourish and bear fruit."
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The Amazon Synod has St. Francis as a model and guide, so that the assembly that begins on Sunday 6 constitutes a fruitful step to discern new paths for the Church and for an integral ecology in the Amazon. The next assembly was in fact consecrated to the Saint of Assisi during a ceremony held this morning in the Vatican gardens, in the presence of the Pope.
The ceremony, held at the end of the "Creation Time" initiative recently promoted by Pope Francis, also saw Francis plant a tree, a holm oak from Assisi, as a symbol of that integral ecology that will be promoted by the synodal assembly.
The ceremony was also attended by representatives of the indigenous peoples of Amazonia, who danced and sang.
On the day dedicated to his patron saint, Francis also received the participants in the 11th general chapter of the Pious Institute of the Daughters of St. Paul Institute, to whom he recommended commitment to the mission.
"The history of salvation, both of the individual person and the population, is rooted in the willingness to depart, to leave, to set out on a journey, not by one’s own initiative, but as the response to the call and trusting in the promise. It is the experience of Grace- Saint Paul would say – that was given to us in Jesus Christ. “You did not choose me, but I chose you” (Jn 15: 16). And this applies not only for the calling, but also for our present and for our future: “Apart from me you can do nothing”, says the Lord (Jn 15: 5) ".
Francis then stated that "in these delicate and harsh times", faith is "more than ever" necessary. "Many say that consecrated life is going through a winter. It may be so, since vocations are scarce, the average age is advancing and fidelity to the commitments made by profession is not always what it should be. In this situation, the great challenge is to get through the winter so as to flourish and bear fruit..Winter, even in the Church and in consecrated life, is not a time of sterility and death, but a favourable time that allows us to return to the essential", to "arise and go", setting out towards men and women of today(.