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In Turin, Pope venerates Shroud, addresses Salesians, speaks to youth about love

June 22, 2015

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On June 21, Pope Francis began a two-day pastoral visit to the northern Italian city of Turin, where he venerated the famed Shroud and delivered five talks and a homily.

Speaking to workers who gathered near the Royal Palace of Turin, the Pope emphasized the importance of work for the human person and his dignity and called upon those who heard him to say no to the “economy of waste,” the “idolatry of money,” “corruption … Mafia collusion, fraud, bribes,” and the “inequity that generates violence.”

This, he continued, requires an “economic model that is not organized as a function of capital and production but rather according to the common good.”

The Pontiff then walked to the 15th-century cathedral, where he prayed before the Holy Shroud and the altar of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, before riding to the Piazza Vittorio Veneto, where he celebrated Mass and preached that the love of God is “a faithful love, a love that re-creates all, a stable and secure love.”

Following Mass, the Pope delivered his Angelus address and described the Shroud as an “icon” of the Jesus’ love, one that “attracts us to the face and martyred body of Jesus and, at the same time, pushes us toward the face of every person who suffers and is unjustly persecuted.”

Pope Francis then traveled to the archbishop’s residence, where he had lunch with a group of young prisoners, immigrants, and homeless people, before traveling to the region’s preeminent Marian shrine, the Santuario della Consolata, where he prayed privately before the icon of the Virgin of Consolation.

Proceeding to the Basilica of Our Lady Help of Christians, Pope Francis addressed Salesians and members of the Daughters of Mary, Help of Christians (Salesian Sisters), both founded by St. John Bosco (1815-88).

In his prepared text, the Pope emphasized three features of the life of St. John Bosco: his “trust in divine Providence,” his “vocation to be a priest of the young, especially the poorest,” and his “loyal and hard-working service to the Church, in particular to the Successor of Peter.”

Setting aside the prepared text, the Pope spoke extemporaneously, recalling his childhood memories of Salesians as well as the example of St. John Bosco’s apostolate to homeless children.

“Pope Francis remembered this region of Italy’s dark past, saying it was ‘full’ of Masonry – and he described the end of the 1800s as ‘priest-eating, anticlerical, and even demonic,’” according to a Vatican Radio summary of the Pope’s extemporaneous remarks.

The Madonna, the Eucharist, and the Pope were St. John Bosco’s three great loves, the Pontiff recalled, as he urged the Salesian Sisters to “teach girls [how to become] mothers, but mothers who raise their girls in love of the Madonna and of the Church.”

Downplaying calls for women to head curial dicasteries as “functionalism,” the Pope added that women in the Church have the “same work that the Madonna had with the apostles on the morning of Pentecost. And the apostles, without Mary, couldn’t have functioned, and Jesus wanted it this way.”

The Pope then proceeded to the Little House of Divine Providence, founded by St. Giuseppe Benedetto Cottolengo (1786-1842), and met with sick and disabled persons.

“The exclusion of the poor, and the difficulties they face in receiving necessary care and assistance, are a situation that is unfortunately still with us today,” he said. “Great progress in medicine and social assistance has been made, but it is diffused in a culture of waste, as a consequence of an anthropological crisis that puts consumption and economic interests in first place, rather than man.”

“Among the victims of this culture of waste I want to recall in particular the elderly, who are welcomed in large numbers in this house,” he added. “The raison d’etre of this Little House is not ‘welfarism,’ or philanthropy, but the Gospel: the Gospel of Christ is the force that gave it birth, and that keeps her going: the love of predilection of Jesus for the most vulnerable and the weakest.

Prayer, he continued, is “the first and most important job of the Little House.”

In the early evening, Pope Francis returned to the Piazza Vittorio Veneto and spoke to young people. Again, he set aside a prepared address and spoke extemporaneously about love while denouncing indifference to massive suffering and the arms manufacturing that helps fuel it.

Love is not what we see in “soap operas,” he said, but is self-sacrificial, following Christ’s example. Love is “more in deeds than in words.”

“Love is very respectful of people, it does not use people, and love is chaste,” he emphasized. “Be chaste. Be chaste.”

 


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Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: FredC - Jun. 23, 2015 5:06 PM ET USA

    I agree with Japheth. Please do tell us if the mainstream media is faithfully echoing what the pope said about those involved with the manufacture of weapons being hypocrites in calling themselves Christians. Is the pope implying that they are automatically excommunicated? Is the pope advocating pacifism? Was Lepanto sinful?

  • Posted by: Japheth - Jun. 22, 2015 10:19 PM ET USA

    This is the same talk that has grabbed mainstream headlines for the pope saying that those involved in the investment in and manufacture of weapons can't call themselves Christians. How is that not the headline here? How does this not even gain a mention? The mainstream world is wondering what's going on with the pope and his statements. People should be looking to this website for information and perspective on this question. Where is it?