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The Pope visits a Roman parish and invites Catholics to be sentinels in the suburbs

2013-05-27

POPE FRANCIS
"I want to ask you children: Who knows who God is? That's right, He is the Creator of Earth. And how many gods are there? One? But I was told there are three: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit! How is that possible? Is there one or three? One? One? And how can there be a Father, a Son and a Holy Spirit? Louder! Louder! That's right: they are three in one: three Persons in One.”

One of the most moving moments during the visit was at the end of Mass. The children who had their First Communion went up to the altar and blessed the Pope by singing the 'Blessing of Saint Francis'. During the song, the Pope leaned forwards, as he did on the first day of his pontificate, while the faithful in Saint Peter's Square prayed for him. Then, he thanked the children for their blessing.

The Pope also thanked the parish priest for his welcome and asked him to continue working as a 'sentinel' in the suburbs.

POPE FRANCIS
"Dear first sentinel, dear second sentinel, dear sentinels, I like what you said: that the word 'suburbs' has both a negative and a positive meaning. Do you know why? Because reality as a whole is best understood not from its center, but from the outskirts. You can also have a better understanding of what you said: becoming sentinels.”

The Pope explained that he was visiting both as Pope but mostly as bishop of Rome. He also had a special thought for his personal secretary.

POPE FRANCIS
"You know these two priests very well. They are the Pope's secretaries. But the Pope is in the Vatican: today, the Bishop of Rome is here! Both of them are very good. But today one of them, father Alfred, celebrates the anniversary of his ordination: 29 years! Give him a round of applause! Let us pray for him, that he may be granted at least another 29 years”!

After the ceremony the Pope toured the streets near the parish in a small Popemobile, from which he could bless and greet the faithful.


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