October 23, 2013 (Romereports.com) More than 85,000 people packed St. Peter's Square for the Pope's General Audience. To accommodate such a large number of pilgrims, organizers closed of neighboring Pius XII Square.
For about 45 minutes, the Pope rode around the swollen crowd to greet pilgrims. Aside from the many babies and children, one of the most touching moments happened when he got off the Popemobile and hugged an 88-year-old woman.
"Now I can die peacefully.”
Pope Francis focused his speech on the role of the Virgin Mary, who he described as the "first and most perfect disciple.” He added that Our Lady was a model for the Church because of her faith in God, her charity towards others, and her union with Jesus Christ.
"The Church should be like Mary when she went, we heard it in the Gospel, when she went to visit Elizabeth. What did she bring with her? Jesus! And the Church carries Jesus! Hypothetically, if a Church no longer carries Jesus, then that is a dead Church! Do you understand? It should carry Jesus!”
The Pope went on to say that, in the way she brought Jesus to Elizabeth, Our Lady also does the same for all Catholics. She carries His love, His peace and joy.
"In this way, the Church is like Mary. It is not a business, the Church is not a humanitarian agency. The Church is not an NGO. The Church was sent to bring Christ and the Gospel to all Christians. That is the Church. It does not carry herself.”
The goal for every Christian, the Pope added, is to bring Jesus to others, and to spread his unconditional love, without expecting anything in return. He also urged Catholics to look after and care for each other.