More than 200,000 people joined Pope Francis for a large open air Mass in Caserta, in southern Italy. The square in front of the Royal Palace was filled to the brim for the ceremony.
The Pope explained in his homily that when a person finds God, they have to choose Him over any evil.
"Giving primacy to God means having the courage to say no to evil, violence, oppression; to live a life of service to others and in favor of lawfulness and the common good.”
Pope Francis also talked about nature. He said that those who side with God also commit themselves to respecting the environment. For years, the mafia would use Caserta as an illegal dump site, contaminating the area and its resources.
"Where Jesus is, brother love each other, they commit themselves to protect their lives and their health, even respecting the environment and nature. That is the hope that never disappoints, the one that Jesus gives us. This is particularly important in your beautiful land, which needs to be look after and preserved, it needs the courage to say no to any type of corruption or lawlessness. We all know the names of these forms of corruption and lawlessness.”
The Pope visited Caserta on the feast day of St. Anne, the city's patron saint, and wished local residents a day "free of any conditioning.” He also asked them, despite the challenges, to never let themselves be robbed of hope.