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Pope blesses archbishops’ pallia, preaches on confession, persecution, and prayer

June 29, 2017

On June 29, the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Pope Francis blessed the pallia that will be worn by the 36 metropolitan archbishops appointed over the past year (video, booklet). In accord with a change of practice introduced by Pope Francis, papal representatives will present the pallia to the archbishops in their cathedrals.

Each of the archbishops present at the Vatican ceremony recited the following oath in Latin:

I N., Archbishop of N., will always be faithful and obedient to Blessed Peter the Apostle, to the Holy Apostolic Church of Rome, and to you, the Supreme Pontiff, and to your legitimate Successors. So help me Almighty God.

The Pope then concelebrated Mass in St. Peter’s Square with members of the College of Cardinals, with the new metropolitan archbishops, and other prelates. As is customary, a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople was present.

During his homily, the Pope preached on the confession of faith, persecution, and prayer.

“Let us ask ourselves if we are parlor Christians, who love to chat about how things are going in the Church and the world, or apostles on the go, who confess Jesus with their lives because they hold him in their hearts,” the Pope preached. “Those who confess Jesus know that they are not simply to offer opinions but to offer their very lives.”

“Today too, in various parts of the world, sometimes in silence —often a complicit silence —great numbers of Christians are marginalized, vilified, discriminated against, subjected to violence and even death, not infrequently without due intervention on the part of those who could defend their sacrosanct rights,” the Pope continued, as he called upon the faithful to offer up their suffering in union with Christ on the cross.

Pope Francis added:

The life of an apostle, which flows from confession and becomes self-offering, is one of constant prayer. Prayer is the water needed to nurture hope and increase fidelity. Prayer makes us feel loved and it enables us to love in turn. It makes us press forward in moments of darkness because it brings God’s light …

A Church that prays is watched over and cared for by the Lord. When we pray, we entrust our lives to him and to his loving care. Prayer is the power and strength that unite and sustain us, the remedy for the isolation and self-sufficiency that lead to spiritual death. The Spirit of life does not breathe unless we pray; without prayer, the interior prisons that hold us captive cannot be unlocked. May the blessed Apostles obtain for us a heart like theirs, wearied yet at peace, thanks to prayer.

 
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