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Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Vatican City, 11 June 2014 (VIS) – “With the gift of the fear of God, which we will talk about today”, said the Pope in this Wednesday's general audience, “we will conclude our series on the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. This does not mean being afraid of God; we are well aware that He is our Father, that He loves us and wishes our Salvation, so there is no need to be afraid of Him! Fear of God, however, is the gift of the Spirit that reminds us of how small we are before God and His love, and that our well-being rests in surrendering ourselves to His hands with humility, respect and trust”.

“When the Holy Spirit dwells in our hearts, it infuses us with consolation and peace. … In this moment, we understand well how our awe before God assumes within us the form of docility, recognition and praise, filling our hearts with hope”. Pope Francis commented that when we are unable to grasp God's plan, we realise that we are not able to ensure happiness and eternal life for ourselves. “However, it is precisely in the experience of ours limits and our poverty that the Spirit comforts us and allows us to perceive that the only important thing is to let ourselves be guided by Jesus into the arms of the Father”.

The Pope explained that we need this gift of the Holy Spirit because “it enables us to be aware that everything comes from His grace and that our true strength lies solely in following the Lord Jesus and letting the Father bestow upon us His goodness and His mercy. … The fear of God, therefore, does not make us into timid, submissive Christians, but instead generates courage and strength in us. It is a gift that makes us into convinced and enthusiastic Christians, who do not submit to the Lord out of fear but rather because they are moved and conquered by his love”. Similarly, he noted that this gift is also a warning against sin. “When we set out on the wrong path, when we blaspheme against God, when we take advantage of others, when we act tyrannically, when we live only for money, vanity, power and pride, then the holy fear of God alerts us to this and warns us that in this way we will not be happy and will come to no good. Do you think that a corrupt person will be happy in the other life?”, he asked. “No, all the fruit of his corruption has corrupted his heart and it will be difficult for him to present himself before the Lord”. He referred to those who make a living from human trafficking, slavery, or the production of weapons. With regard to the latter, he said that they are not interested in the Word of God since they “fabricate death, they are merchants of death and make death into a trade”, and expressed his hope that “the fear of God may make them understand that one day everything will come to an end and they will have to account for themselves before God”.

Before concluding, the Pope read part of Psalm 34: “'This poor soul cried, and was heard by the Lord, and was saved from every trouble. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them'. Let us ask the Lord the grace to unite our voice with that of the poor, to welcome the gift of the fear of God and to be able to recognise that we are clothed in mercy and God's love, that He is our Father. May it be so”.

Finally, he invited all those present to pray a Hail Mary to the Virgin for the children exploited for their labour and for victims of abuse.


Vatican City, 11 June 2014 (VIS) – Due to the hot weather in Rome today, Pope Francis chose to greet the sick in the Paul VI Hall before the general audience instead of doing so after his catechesis in St. Peter's Square. “We thought it was better for you to stay here in peace, where it is a little cooler, and not under the baking sun! You can watch the audience on the maxi-screen, you can follow it all without suffering in the sun, as they say that today will be a very hot day. Thank you”:

After his catechesis he mentioned to the Polish pilgrims that today is the day of St. Barnabas, the apostle who along with St. Paul spread the Gospel among the pagans and, full of faith and zeal, gave his life to Christ without reserve, suffering a martyr's death. “Let us learn from him the fear of God and perseverance in faith. With courage, let us proclaim to the world the evangelical message”.

Addressing the Italian faithful, he greeted the participants in the Congress on Ethics and Finance at the Augustinianum, organised by the Pontifical Council for the Family, commenting that, “in effect, finance nowadays needs ethics”. He also addressed the pilgrims of Castel San Giovanni, the home town of Cardinal Agostino Casaroli who was secretary of State between 1979 and 1990. “He was a good man, this Casaroli”, he remarked.

He also greeted the Fiat workers from Pomigliano, in southern Italy, who donated a small blue car identical to the one he used during his visit to Assisi in October 2013. Earlier the workers had said that it filled them with pride to see the Pope using the same car they used themselves to go to work or home.

Finally, he said that during the month of June the liturgy invites us to pray to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and he urged all to do so, commenting that this devotion teaches the young to love intensely, the sick to be strong and to carry the cross of their suffering with patience, and the newly married to build their family on the foundations of the faithfulness and love of God.


Vatican City, 11 June 2014 (VIS) – Tomorrow, 12 June, will be World Day Against Child Labour and, at the end of today's general audience, the Pope launched an appeal for the “tens of thousands of children who are forced to work in degrading conditions, exposed to forms of slavery and exploitation, as well as abuse, mistreatment and discrimination”.

“Listen well”, he emphasised: “Tens of thousands of children!” and he expressed his hope that the international community would “extend social protection for minors in order to weaken this scourge. Let us renew our commitment, in particular in families, to guarantee to every boy and girl the protection for his or her dignity and the possibility of healthy growth. A serene childhood enables us to look trustfully upon life and to the future”.


Vatican City, 11 June 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has:

- accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Cruz Alta, Brazil, presented by Bishop Friedrich Heimler, S.D.B., in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

- appointed Fr. Gilberto Alfredo Vizcarra Mori, S.J., as apostolic vicar of Jaen (area 32,572, population 525,101, Catholics 409,000, priests 36, permanent deacons 1, religious 105), Peru. The bishop-elect was born in Lima, Peru in 1960 and was ordained a priest in 1994. He studied philosophy at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile and theology in the Jesuit faculty in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, and obtained a licentiate in Arabic in Cairo, Egypt and a licentiate from the Institute of Arabic Studies and Islam, Rome. He has served in a number of pastoral roles, including priest in the parishes of “San Pedro y San Pablo” in Bitkine, Chad, and “San Ignacio”, Chad; superior of the community and founder and director of the “Fe y Alegria” project in Chad. He is currently vicar in the parish of “Santa Teresa del Nino Jesus” in Abeche, Chad. He succeeds Bishop Santiago Maria Garcia de la Rasilla Dominguez, S.J., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same apostolic vicariate, upon having reached the age limit, was accepted by the Holy Father.
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