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Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Vatican City, 9 April 2014 (VIS) – In today's general audience Pope Francis began a series of catechesis dedicated to the Holy Spirit, which “constitutes the soul and the vital lymph of the Church and of every Christian”. The Holy Spirit is “God's quintessential gift”, and in turn “communicates many spiritual gifts to those who welcome it”. The Church identifies seven of these, a number that symbolically indicates plenitude and completeness, and these are invoked in the ancient prayer, the “Sequence to the Holy Spirit”: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, piety, and fear of the Lord.

Today the Holy Father spoke about the first: wisdom. “It is not simply human wisdom, the fruit of knowledge and experience”. The wisdom the Holy Spirit grants is “the grace of being able to see things through God's eyes. It seeing the world, situations … problems, everything, with the eyes of God. … And obviously this derives from intimacy with God … from the relationship of a son with his Father. … When we are in communion with the Lord, it is through the Holy Spirit that our heart transforms and we are able to perceive all its warmth and predilection”.

The Holy Spirit endows the Christian with wisdom, but “not, however, in the sense of having an answer for everything, of knowing everything, but in the sense of 'knowing' God … of knowing how God acts, knowing when something is God's and when it is not. … The heart of the man who is wise in this way has the taste, the flavour of God. … We have the Holy Spirit inside us, in our heart; we can listen to it, or we can choose not to listen to it. If we listen to the Holy Spirit, He will teach us this way of wisdom, and will give us the wisdom to see through God's eyes, to hear with God's ears, to love with the heart of God, to judge with God's judgement. This is the wisdom that the Holy Spirit gives us, and all of us can have this. We need only ask the Holy Spirit”.

As an example of wisdom in daily life, the Pope gave the example of marriage; if, after an argument, a married couple “do not look at each other, or look at each other without warmth: is this the wisdom of God? No! If, instead, they say, ' the trouble has passed, let's make up' and begin again in peace … this is the gift of wisdom”.

“We do not learn this”, he concluded; “it is a gift from the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we must ask the Lord Who gives us the Holy Spirit, Who gives us the gift … of that wisdom of God that teaches us to look through God's eyes, to feel with God's heart, to speak with God's words. And so, with this wisdom, we go ahead, we create a family, build a Church, and we are all sanctified. Let us ask, today, for the grace of wisdom. And let us ask this of Our Lady, Seat of Wisdom”.


Vatican City, 9 April 2014 (VIS) – “Last Monday Fr. Frans van der Lugt, a Dutch Jesuit brother aged 75, was assassinated in Syria. Fr. Van der Lugt had always been good to all, acting with love and gratuity, and was therefore loved and esteemed by both Christians and Muslims”, said Pope Francis, after today's catechesis. “His brutal killing filled me with profound sadness and made me think once again of the many people who suffer and die in that afflicted country, which has already been too long in the throes of a bloody conflict that continues to spread death and destruction. I also think of the many people kidnapped, both Christians and Muslims, Syrian and from other countries, among whom there are bishops and priests. I ask the Lord that they may soon return to their loved ones and to their families and communities”.

He continued, “I fervently implore all to join in my prayer for peace in Syria and throughout the region, and make a heartfelt appeal to the Syrian authorities and to the international community: set down your weapons and bring an end to the violence! No more war! No more destruction! Respect human rights, take care of your people who are in need of humanitarian assistance, and pursue the longed-for peace through dialogue and reconciliation”.


Vatican City, 9 April 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has sent a telegram of condolences to the Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, His Beatitude Louis Raphael I Sako, for the death of His Beatitude Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly, patriarch emeritus of Babylon of the Chaldeans, at the age of 87.

In the text, the Pope conveys to “the faithful of the Patriarchate, both in Iraq and in the diaspora, my condolences and the assurance of my prayers” and recalls “with deep gratitude the late Patriarch’s dedication to his people and to the promotion of respectful, just and peaceful relations with followers of other religious traditions”.

Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin joins with the Pope in mourning the passing of the patriarch emeritus and expresses his heartfelt condolences to the Church of Iraq.


Vatican City, 9 April 2014 (VIS) – The Holy See Press Office has announced that on 17 April, Holy Thursday, the Holy Father will celebrate Mass “in Cena Domini” at the Don Carlo Gnocchi Fuondation at the St. Mary of Providence Centre, Via Casal del Marmo 401, in the Casalotti-Boccea quarter of Rome. Guests, staff and managers will participate in the ceremony, which will take place in the church at the Centre. The Foundation, created by the Italian priest and blessed Carlo Gnocchi, helps people affected by all forms of disability.


Vatican City, 9 April 2014 (VIS) – Today the Holy Father received in audience Dr. Juan Carlos Parodi.
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