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Pope calls on faithful to imitate St. Celestine, do works of mercy

July 07, 2014

Pope Francis concluded his apostolic journey to Molise on July 5 by traveling to the cathedral of Isernia. There he met with the sick and launched a local jubilee year in commemoration of the 800th anniversary of the birth of Pope St. Celestine V, who resigned from the papacy in 1294.

“He, like St. Francis of Assisi, has had a very strong sense of God’s mercy, and the fact that the mercy of God renews the world,” the Pope said. “With this strong compassion for their people, these saints felt the need to give the people the greatest thing, the greatest wealth: the mercy of the Father, forgiveness.”

Mercy, Pope continued, is not merely a “spiritual palliative” that helps us become “more gentle, more good,” but “the prophecy of a new world” in which goods are distributed and no one is deprived of necessities. Both St. Francis and St. Celestine V knew that they had to set an example of poverty and mercy.

Pope Francis reminded those in attendance that we are sinners who are tempted to conform to the world, with its mentality of wealth and power. “So we rely on the mercy of God … These two things: to be converted and to do works of mercy.”


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