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Pope speaks on treasures of popular piety

Catholic World News - May 06, 2013

Popular piety is “a treasure possessed by the Church,” Pope Francis said as he presided at a Mass for Catholic confraternities gathered in Rome for their annual pilgrimage.

Despite steady rain in Rome, thousands of confraternity members from Italy, France, Spain, Ireland, Poland, and other countries marched up the Via della Conciliazione on Sunday, March 5, to attend the Mass in St. Peter’s Square. Introducing the groups to the Pontiff, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, the president of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, remarked on the colorful display made by the groups’ different banners and insignia. He added that “here are represented ten centuries of history that few know about because it is made of simple, everyday gestures, etched nevertheless, in people's hearts.”

Pope Francis agreed, saying in his homily that “confraternities have been crucibles of holiness for countless people who have lived in utter simplicity an intense relationship with the Lord.” The Pope encouraged the groups to maintain their practices of piety, observing that it should be “lived in the Church in profound communion with your pastors.”

The Pope encouraged the confraternities to “be true evangelizers,” saying that their activities should be “bridges, means of bringing others to Christ.”

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