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Pope celebrates Sacrament of Confirmation

29 April, 2013 - Pope Francis exercised an important function of a bishop on Sunday bestowing the Sacrament of Confirmation on 44 young men and women from 22 countries of the world, including from India, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, China and Lebanon. The Pope confirmed the young people at an open air Mass in Rome’s St. Peter’s Square, encouraging them to persist in their faith even in the midst of obstacles. “Remaining steadfast in the journey of faith, with firm hope in the Lord, is the secret of our journey,” he told over 70,000 people gathered in the vast square, many of whom receive Confirmation earlier this year. “There are no difficulties, trials or misunderstandings to fear, provided we remain united to God as branches to the vine, provided we do not lose our friendship with him, provided we make ever more room for him in our lives,” the Pope said in his homily. The Confirmation by the Pope, an important event in the current Year of Faith, Oct. 11, 2012 to Nov. 24, 2013, concluded two days of celebration of the sacrament in Rome by young people from around. On Saturday, the young people had met with teachers of faith, or catechists, at Saint Peter's Square for a pilgrimage to the tombs of Saint Peter and Blessed John Paul II.
“To go against the current is good for the heart, but we need courage to swim against the tide,” Pope Francis told the young people, assuring them that “Jesus gives us this courage.” Explaining Sunday’s Gospel, the Pontiff observed that the “The Holy Spirit is truly transforming us, and through us he also wants to transform the world in which we live.” “How beautiful it would be,” he said, “if each of you, every evening, could say: Today at school, at home, at work, guided by God, I showed a sign of love towards one of my friends, my parents, an older person!” Pope Francis also explained that “we must undergo many trials if we are to enter the Kingdom of God.” But he said there was no reason to be discouraged as “We have the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome these trials!” (Source: CNA)


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