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Paul VI’s testimony feeds in us the flame of love for Christ: Pope

Vatican City, 22 June 2013: ‘Love for Christ, love for the Church and love for man’ – these three phrases Illustrates the Servant of God Pope Paul VI. This is what he taught and these were his fundamental attitudes, said Pope Francis on Saturday morning while addressing thousands of Pilgrims from the Italian diocese of Brescia, in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. In fact, about 5 thousand pilgrims from the Diocese of Brescia had arrived on Friday in Rome to mark the 50th anniversary of Pope Paul VI. The pilgrims attended the Mass on Saturday morning in St. Peter’s Basilica presided over by Bishop of Brescia, Msgr. Luciano Monari. Along with him, 3 other concelebrating bishops and hundreds of priests.

This is your pilgrimage in the Year of Faith, and it's nice that you wanted to do it on the 50th anniversary of the election of your great countryman Paul VI, said the Pontiff, eliciting thunderous applause from the pilgrims. Paul VI was able to witness, in difficult years, faith in Jesus Christ, said the Pope adding "Jesus is more necessary than ever to the man of today, the world of today, because in the "deserts" of the secular cities Jesus speaks to us of God, reveals his face. Total love of Christ emerged throughout the life of Paul VI, even in the choice of the name as Pope.

A deep love for Christ is not to possess, but to announce it, said Pope Francis recalling the passionate words of Paul VI in Manila in 1970 where he said: "Christ! Yes, I feel the need to announce it, I cannot keep silent! He ... is the revealer of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature is, is the foundation of all things, He is the Teacher of mankind, the Redeemer… our existence, our happiness."

Pope Francis said: that the passionate Paul VI’s speech in Manila and also one in Nazareth have been for me to spiritual strength. I have done so well in life! I'm going back to this speech, I go back, because it does me good to hear these words of Paul VI. Today, even today, said the Pope, I return to these speeches, bringing great applause from the pilgrims.
About ‘love for the Church, Pope Francis said, for Paul VI it was a passionate love, the love of a lifetime, joyful and painful expressed since his first encyclical, Ecclesiam suam. Paul VI has lived through the suffering of the Church after Vatican II, the lights, the hopes, the tensions. He loved the Church and has spent his life without reservation. He wrote: "I want to hug her, greet her, love her in every being that composes it, in every bishop and priest who is there to help and guide, in every soul that lives and illustrates it."

About ‘love for man, Pope Francis said that it is also linked with Christ: it is the passion of God that compels us to meet the man, to respect, to recognize him, to serve him. In the last session of Vatican II, Pope Paul VI gave a speech, where he speaks of the attention of the Council for the contemporary man. He said: "the profane secular humanism eventually appeared in its terrible stature and has, in a sense, defied the council. The religion of the God who became man has met the religion of the man who made himself God does. What has happened? A fight, a battle, a condemnation? It could be, but it has not happened. The old story of the Samaritan has been the model of spirituality of the council.

Paul VI’s testimony feeds in us the flame of love for Christ, love for the Church, the momentum to announce the Gospel to the man of today, with mercy, with patience, with courage, with joy, concluded Pope Francis.Source: VR Sedoc


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