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Pope praises Missionaries of Charity for making love concrete

Catholic World News - May 22, 2013

Pope Francis visited a home run by the Missionaries of Charity on Tuesday evening, offering “a heartfelt thank-you” to the sisters for their service to the poor.

The Holy Father visited the Gift of Mary Hospitality House on May 21, the 25th anniversary of the date when Blessed John Paul II placed the institution under the care of Blessed Mother Teresa and the religious order she founded. The home, located just outside St. Peter’s Square, housed 25 women and provides daily meals for 60 people.

In his remarks Pope Francis observed that the institution is properly called a “home” because it “represents the most precious human wealth, that of encounter, that of the relationships between persons of different ages, cultures, and histories, but who live together and who, together, help one another to grow.” Standing near the border of Vatican territory, he said, it is “a powerful reminder to all of us—to the Church, to the city of Rome—to always be more of a family.”

The home is also a gift, the Pope continued, and the religious who run it are making a gift—not only to the people they serve but to the world. “You tell us that loving God and our neighbor is not something abstract but profoundly concrete.” The Pope contrasted that attitude with “a savage capitalism” that encourages “exploitation without looking at persons…. and we see the results in the crisis we are living through!”

Finally, the Pope said, the home is known specifically as the “Gift of Mary.” He observed: “Mary is an example and an inspiration for those who live in this house, and for all of us, to live charity towards our neighbor, not out of a type of social duty, but starting from God's love, from God's charity.”

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