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Monday, April 20, 2015

Regina Coeli: the content of Christian witness is not an ideology

Vatican City, 19 April 2015 (VIS) – At midday today the Pope appeared at the window of his study in the Vatican Apostolic Palace to pray the Regina Coeli with the faithful present in the square. Before the Marian prayer, Francis spoke about the meaning of witness in the life of Christians. “A witness is one who has seen, who recalls, and recounts”, he said. “To see, to remember and to tell are the three verbs that describe identity and mission. The witness is one who has seen, but not with indifferent eyes; he has seen and allowed himself to be involved in the event. Therefore, he also remembers, not only because he is able to precisely reconstruct the facts, but because these facts have spoken to him and he has grasped their deep meaning. And so the witness recounts, not in a cold or detached way, but as one who has allowed himself to be questioned, and has from that day forth changed his life”.

“The content of Christian witness is not a theory, and ideology, or a complex system of precepts and prohibitions”, he added, “but rather a message of salvation, a concrete event, or rather a Person: it is the risen Christ, the sole and living Saviour of all”.

The Pontiff went on to emphasise that the Christian may be a witness of the risen Christ “by way of a path that has its foundation in Baptism and its nourishment in the Eucharist, its seal in Confirmation and its continual conversion in Penance. … If, however, a Christian allows himself to be rapt by comforts and vanity, if he becomes deaf and blind to the question of 'resurrection' of so many of his brothers, how will he be able to communicate the living Jesus, with his liberating power and infinite tenderness?”.

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