Catholic World News

Pope visits Genoa, preaches on prayer and proclamation

May 29, 2017

Pope Francis made an 11-hour visit to Genoa, Italy’s sixth-largest city, on May 27.

It was the Pope’s fifteenth apostolic journey within Italy during his four-year pontificate.

The day’s highlights included

  • a meeting with representatives of the world of work at the Ilva Factory
  • a meeting with the bishops, clergy, seminarians and religious, and diocesan lay collaborators of the Liguria region in San Lorenzo Cathedral; they were joined by representatives of other religious confessions
  • a meeting with young people at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Guard
  • lunch at the shrine with 135 persons who are poor, refugees, homeless, or detainees
  • a visit to 300 children at Giannina Gaslini Pediatric Hospitalan
  • outdoor Mass at the Piazzale Kennedy in a 16th-century outdoor park, the Parco delle Cascine

In his visit to the factory, the Pope called for a goal of “work for all” rather than “income for all”:

It is necessary, therefore, to look fearlessly and a sense of responsibility on the technological transformations of the economy and of life, without resigning ourselves to the ideology that seems to be gaining a foothold wherever one looks, which envisions a world in which only a half or maybe two-thirds of employable people actually work, and the others maintained with a welfare check.

At the cathedral, Pope Francis renewed his oft-repeated call for “pastoral conversion” and “missionary conversion,” and said that “today there are more Christian martyrs than in ancient times, than in the early times of the Church.”

Later, addressing questions from young people, he said that “loving means having the capacity to take a ‘dirty’ hand in your own and look those who are in a situation of degradation in the eye and saying: ‘For me, you are Jesus.’”

During his visit to the pediatric hospital, the Pope said, “Often and again I ask myself, ‘Why do children suffer?’, and I don’t find any explanation. I only look at the crucifix and stand still there.”

The outdoor evening Mass was the Vigil Mass of the Ascension, which is celebrated in Italy on the Sunday before Pentecost. In his homily, Pope Francis emphasized the importance of intercessory prayer.

“Christian prayer is not a way of being a little bit at peace with oneself or finding some interior harmony; we pray in order to bring all to God, to entrust the world to Him,” he said. “Prayer is intercession. It’s not tranquility, it’s charity.”

Recalling that God’s love in dynamic and wishes to reach others, the Pope also discussed the importance of proclamation.

“A Christian is always on the move with the Lord towards other,” the Pope preached. “He is a pilgrim, a missionary, a hopeful marathon man, gentle but intent on walking.”

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