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Rely on God’s love to recover after sins, Pope tells prisoners

April 02, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI sent a message of encouragement to inmates at Rome’s Rebibbia prison, as they participated in the Stations of the Cross on March 30.

Cardinal Agostino Vallini, the vicar of the Rome diocese, led the Stations and read a message from the Pontiff. About 300 prisoners joined in the spiritual exercise.

Pope Benedict recalled that when he had visited the same prison last December, “one of the prisoners said during our meeting, the purpose of prison is to help us rise again after having fallen.” The Pontiff related that observation to the three times when Jesus fell, revisited during the Stations of the Cross. He told the prisoners that “with His help we too can rise from our falls, and perhaps also help a brother to rise as well.”

Jesus found the strength to lift Himself up, the Pope said, because “He knew that the Father loved Him, and this immense love—this infinite mercy of the heavenly Father—consoled Him and was greater than the violence and abuse surrounding Him.” The Pope urged the prisoners to place the same trust in God’s love to support them.


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