05/14/2014, 00.00
VATICAN
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Pope: Fortitude for the many who still suffer persecution and the "hidden saints" who live in difficult times

"It is the virtue of those who put their trust in God and do not fear tribulation, or persecution, or famine, or peril, or the sword of those who defeat laziness with the enthusiasm, the bad with the good, ' hatred with love". I invite you to pray for the Turkish miners and victims of a sinking in the Mediterranean: "Let us pray that human rights be put in first place, human rights in first place and that forces join to stop this shameful carnage".

Vatican City ( AsiaNews) - Fortitude,  a gift of the Holy Spirit, a gift that "many brothers and sisters who have not hesitated to give their life , in order to remain faithful to the Lord and his Gospel" have, but who also the "many unknown saints" that are around us, "men and women who struggle to carry on their family and educate their children".

Continuing to illustrate the gifts of the Holy Spirit, Pope Francis dedicated his general audience to  "fortitude". 60 thousand people were present in St Peter's Square, among which he toured at length in his white jeep blessing, greeting and kissing babies, on a sunny but windy day with gusts that  left the Pope bareheaded, blowing his skullcap away .

The audience  was also an opportunity for the Pope to invite people to pray "for the miners who died yesterday in Turkey in Soma and for those who are still trapped in the tunnels" and " for the people who have lost their life in the Mediterranean sea these days". "Let us pray that human rights be put in first place, human rights in first place and that forces join to stop this shameful carnage "

Earlier, in his greeting in Arabic Pope Francis had spoken of the gift of fortitude , saying: " fortitude ensures firmness in difficulties and constancy in the pursuit of the good. It is the virtue of those who put their trust in God and do not fear tribulation, or persecution, or famine, or peril, or the sword, of those who defeat the laziness with enthusiasm, evil with good, hatred with love".

"With the gift of fortitude the Holy Spirit frees the soil of our heart - said the Pope -  from torpor, uncertainties and all the fears that can stop it, so that the Word of God can be put into practice, in an authentic and joyful way. This is a real help, this gift of fortitude it gives us strength and frees us from many obstacles.

There are difficult moments and extreme situations in which the gift of fortitude is manifested in an extraordinary, exemplary way. This is the case of those who are facing particularly harsh and painful experiences, that disrupt their lives and those of their loved ones. The Church shines with the testimony of so many brothers and sisters who have not hesitated to give their lives, in order to remain faithful to the Lord and His Gospel . Even today there are numerous Christians in many parts of the world who continue to celebrate and witness to their faith with deep conviction and serenity, and resist even when they know that this can result in them paying a very high price. All of us know people, people who have experienced difficult situations, so much pain, let us think of those men and women who have a difficult life, who fight for the survival of their family, educate their children. They do this because the Spirit of fortitude helps them. How many, many men and women - whose names we do not know - honor our people, honor our Church because they are strong in carrying forward their lives, their work, their family, their faith - these our brothers and sisters are saints! Every day saints! Hidden saints among us! They have the gift of fortitude in carrying on in their duty as people, mother, father, brother, sister citizen. We have so many so many. Let us thank the Lord for these Christians who are the hidden saints among us. But is the Spirti within who carry them forward and it would do us good to think of these people. If they do this, if they can do this then why not me and we ask the Lord to give us the gift of fortitude.

With this, we must not think that the gift of fortitude is only necessary on some occasions or in certain situations. This gift must be the base note of our being Christians, in our ordinary everyday lives. As I said we must have fortitude in our everyday life as Christians we need this fortitude to carry on in our lives, our families our faith. Paul, the Apostle Paul, said something that it would do us all good to hear: "I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me" (Phil. 4:13).

In our everyday life, in difficult times it would do us good to say this "I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me". The Lord always gives us strength, Lord never gives us more than we can handle, "I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me". Dear friends, sometimes we may be tempted to allow ourselves be overtaken by laziness or despondency, especially when faced with the hardships and trials of life. In these cases, do not lose heart, but invoke the Holy Spirit, so that with the gift of fortitude He can lift our hearts and communicate new vigor and enthusiasm to our lives and our following Jesus".

 

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