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Monday, July 7, 2014


Vatican City, 5 July 2014 (VIS) – The second event of the Holy Father's visit to Molise was the celebration of Mass in the Romagnoli stadium in Campobasso.

“Divine wisdom frees us from evil and oppression as much as it places us at the service of the Lord”, said the Pope in his homily. “Indeed, the Lord is not neutral, but rather with His wisdom, takes the side of those who are fragile, discriminated against and oppressed who trustfully abandon themselves to Him. The Church is a population that serves God, and lives in the freedom that He has given”, he continued. “Service to God is carried out in various ways, in particular in prayer, in worship, in proclaiming the Gospel and in the witness of charity. And the icon of the Church is always the Virgin Mary … who shows that the favoured path to serving the Lord lies in serving our brethren in need”.

Following the school of this Mother, “the Church must learn every day to be the 'servant of the Lord', and to be ready to go out towards those situations of greatest need. However, we are all called to the service of charity in our everyday lives. … The witness of charity is the principal route of evangelisation. In this, the Church has always been 'on the front line', sharing in the difficulties and the fragility of the people. … In this way the Christian community seeks to infuse in society that 'supplement of the soul' that allows us to look beyond and to hope”.

The Pope urged all members of the diocese to “persevere on this road, serving God in your service to your brethren and spreading the culture of solidarity everywhere. There is a great need for these efforts, in response to situations of material and spiritual precariousness, especially linked to unemployment”. The Pope described this latter problem as “a challenge that makes a special plea to the responsibility of institutions, of the worlds of business and finance. It is necessary to place the dignity of the human person at the centre of every perspective and all action. Other interests, while they may be legitimate, are secondary”.

“Therefore, the Church is the population that serves the Lord”, he emphasised, “and this is why she experiences liberation and lives in this freedom He gives her. … Freedom, above all, from sin, from selfishness in all its forms. … When we serve others, the Lord frees us from ambition and rivalry, that undermine the unity of communion. He frees us from distrust, sadness, fear, inner emptiness, isolation, regret, and complaint. … Christ frees us from existential mediocrity. … Therefore, as the Lord's disciples, while always remaining weak and sinners – we all are! – we are called upon to live with joy and courage our faith, our communion with God and our brethren, and the worship of God, and to face the difficulties and trials of life with strength”.

He concluded, “may the Holy Virgin, who you venerate as Our Lady of Liberty in Molise, offer you the joy of serving the Lord and of walking in the freedom He has given us. May Mary help you to be a maternal Church, welcoming and caring towards others. … May she be a sign of consolation and sure hope”.

After the Mass, the Pope transferred by car to the Cathedral for the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament, and to pray before the tombs of the bishops Alberto Romita and Secondo Bologna; the latter died during the bombing of the city in 1943. He then greeted a group of sick people and shortly before 1 p.m. he arrived at the House of Angels where he lunched with the poor assisted by Caritas and inaugurated the new charitable structure of the diocese.

At 2.15 p.m., after lunch, he transferred to the heliport of the University of Molise to continue his visit at the Shrine of Our Lady of Sorrows at Castelpetroso.

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