With warmer weather, more pilgrims are coming to the Pope's General Audience. This week, 60,000 people packed St. Peter's Square to listen to Pope Francis talk about the gift of fortitude.
He explained that this gift from the Holy Spirit frees people from their uncertainties and limitations, and instead opens their hearts, giving them strength to carry out God's will.
"We all know people that have lived through hard times, with so much pain. Let's think about these men and women, who live a life of hardship, who fight to raise a family, and educate their children. They do this because they have the spirit of fortitude which helps them. These brothers and sisters are saints, everyday saints. Saints hidden amongst us.”
Pope Francis urged pilgrims to thank these people for their example, and to ask themselves: "If they can do it, why can't I?” The Pope also explained that the gift of fortitude does not apply just to particular times. It must become an everyday part of Christian life.
"The Apostle Paul said a phrase that would be good for us to hear: 'I can do all things through Him, who gives me strength.' In everyday life, in times of hardship, let us remember this: I can do all things through Him, who gives me strength. The Lord always gives us strength, He never falters. The Lord doesn't test us beyond our limits. He is always among us.”
Near the end of his remarks, the Pope appealed and prayed for the victims and survivors of a mine explosion in Turkey.
He also asked for prayers for the victims of yet another boat of immigrants that sunk off the Italian coast. He described it as "shameful,” and asked authorities to take proper measures to keep that from happening again.