Pope Francis meets the members of the Association of Saints Peter and Paul and exhorts them to continue their mission, while always looking at Jesus with hope in their hearts.
By Francesca Merlo
Pope Francis met members of the association of Saints Peter and Paul on Saturday, on the occasion of the association’s 50th anniversary. This association, notes the Pope, was “born thanks to the clairvoyant intuition of Saint Paul VI”, who founded it in 1971 in order to perpetuate the legacy of the ideals of the Palatine Guard.
A story of encounters
“It is good to see that, in this half-century of life, you have passed from the ‘guard of honor of the palace’ to the honor of being ‘at the service’ of humanity on pilgrimage, thus testifying to a particular way of the Christian life, of the apostolate and fidelity to the Apostolic See “, continued the Pope, addressing all those present in the Paul VI room of the Vatican.
He asked the members what these 50 years of history represent, and noted that the title of their magazine, named “incontro” (in Italian for “meeting”) answers this question perfectly. “In fact”, continued the Pope, “your history is made of continuous ‘encounters’.”
Pope Francis went on to note that “in the meeting there is always movement” and that “if we all stay still, we will never meet”. It is, according to the Pope, “the criterion which gives meaning to your daily commitment”. “Through your daily services, you become artisans of encounter, bringing the warmth of the goodness of Jesus to those who enter St. Peter’s Basilica, to those who need guidance, to those who need a smile to feel at home, ”added the Pope.
For the future
Pope Francis went on to share “some points for the future” so that the service of this association can “continue to be a witness to those you meet”. He then summarized these points with the exhortation:
“Let us start again with more humanity, looking to Jesus, with hope in our hearts”.
Let’s resume, repeated the Pope: “Certainly by cherishing what we have lived, bearing in mind that we have all changed a little and, I hope, improved”.
He then moved on to Looking at Jesus. He underlined that today more than ever “we want to bear witness to our faith by proclaiming that our concrete life finds its roots in the humanity of Jesus”. The Pope explained that this means “to know him better, to know how he led his life, what he said, how he related to others”.
And finally, the Pope turned to the concept of With hope in our hearts. “Hope must never be lacking in the believer’s path”, he explained: We must walk supported in the Word of Christ because it is the Word of life.
Closing his speech, Pope Francis entrusted all the members and their families to Mary, before praying, together, the Association Prayer: