05/08/2024, 15.11
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Pope at audience: 'Patient men are weavers of goodness'

Countries bent by war and violence remembered: Palestine, Israel, Ukraine and Myanmar again recalled at the Wednesday audience. May the intercession of St Stanislaus 'obtain also today the gift of peace in Europe and throughout the world'. The theological virtue of hope, accompanied by patience, belongs to those who "stubbornly desire peace".  

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "May the Lord grant peace to the whole world". Thus Pope Francis, at the end of the general audience held this morning in St. Peter's Square, returned, during his greetings to the Italian-speaking pilgrims, to remember the countries of the world bent by war and violence.

"Especially to the dear and tormented Ukraine, to Palestine, to Israel, to Myanmar", he said, inviting us to invoke the intercession of Mary, on the day in which "the Church raises the prayer of Supplication to Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompeii". Next to the Holy Father was a statue of the Virgen de Luján of Buenos Aires: "Let us pray for Argentina so that the Lord may help her on her journey".

“I entrust in particular to our Mother the young people, the sick, the elderly, the newlyweds, who are present here today. And I urge everyone to value the prayer of the Holy Rosary in this month of May", added Pope Francis.

During the greetings to the Polish-speaking pilgrims he asked them to also invoke the intercession of Saint Stanislaus, the patron saint of Poland whose solemnity is being celebrated today.

“Saint John Paul II wrote of him that from heaven he participated in the sufferings and hopes of your nation, supporting its survival especially during the Second World War,” he recalled. The hope was therefore shared that his intercession "will also obtain today the gift of peace in Europe and throughout the world, especially in Ukraine and the Middle East".

The pleas arrive in the hours in which negotiations are underway in Cairo for a ceasefire in Gaza - invoked several times by Pope Francis - and clashes are reported between the IDF and Hamas fighters near Rafah and Gaza City .

“Patient men are weavers of goodness. They stubbornly desire peace, and even if some are in a hurry and would like everything immediately, patience has the capacity for waiting." With these words the Holy Father underlined the direct link between being patient people and the construction of good, of peace. Patience is "a virtue that walks in close contact with hope".

In fact, it is to this last theological virtue that Bergoglio dedicated the catechesis - which is part of the cycle of in-depth studies on "The vices and virtues" -, read at the opening of the audience and then summarized in the various languages. The reading from which the reflection branched out derives from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans (Rm 8,18.23-24).

“If hope is missing, all the other virtues risk crumbling and ending up in ashes. If there were no reliable tomorrow, a bright horizon, we would only have to conclude that virtue is a useless effort,” said Pope Francis.

Affirming that the Christian person possesses hope "not through his own merit", but because "Christ died and rose again and gave us his Spirit". At this point, some words of Pope Benedict XVI, in the Encyclical Spe salvi, were shared with the numerous faithful gathered in St. Peter's: "Redemption is offered to us in the sense that we have been given hope, a reliable hope, by virtue of which we can face our present”.

Underlining how often we sin against this virtue "in our bad nostalgia, in our melancholy, when we think that the happiness of the past is buried forever". The Bishop of Rome then underlined the close relationship between hope and patience. Those who are animated by both "are able to go through the darkest nights".

“Hope - said the Holy Father - is the virtue of those who have a young heart”, explaining how age does not matter, “because there are also old people with eyes full of light, who experience a permanent tension towards the future".

Citing the exemplary life of Simeon and Anna, "two great old men of the Gospel" who "never tired of waiting".

“Brothers and sisters, let's move forward, let's ask for the grace of having hope. Hope with patience, always looking at that definitive encounter, always looking that the Lord is always close to us. May death never be victorious,” Pope Francis concluded in off the cuff remarks.

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