Although it was August, the Pope decided not to go on a trip during the traditional Italian vacation month. For his third summer as Pope, he stayed in Rome.
After a short break in July, he held another general audience with the pilgrims from all over the world. He also led the weekly Angelus prayer.
The Pope returned to his regular duties by hosting 9,000 altar boys from different parts of the world. He reminded them that faith must not be kept a secret. On the contrary, faith must be shared with others.
"How beautiful it is to discover that faith brings us out of ourselves, out of our isolation. Precisely because we are filled with the joy of being friends with Jesus Christ, faith draws us toward others, making us natural missionaries!”
Three days later, he was again surrounded by young people. While meeting with the Eucharistic Youth Movement, he told them to not become "old” young people.
"Tension makes us grow, it develops courage. Young people must have this virtue, of courage. A young person without courage is a young person without life, an old youth. How is tension resolved? With dialogue!”
During August, the Pope prepared for two important events after the summer break. The first being his trip to the United States and Cuba and the second, being the Synod on the Family.
That's why Pope Francis continued with his catechesis on the family. During his August 5th audience, he spoke about those who divorce and later remarry.
"These persons are by no means excommunicated — they are not excommunicated! — and they should absolutely not be treated as such: they are still a part of the Church.”
The general audiences were moved into Paul VI Hall due to the extremely high temperatures in the Eternal City. The Pope also held the 100th general audience of his pontificate during August.
Again Pope Francis showed his concern for the growing violence around the world. He made a forceful call for world peace.
"From every corner one voice must rise: No to war! Yes to dialogue! Yes to peace! With war everyone always loses. The only way to win a war is to not fight one.”
In Europe, the refugee crisis deepened. Thousands of people, the majority from Syria and Iraq, attempted to reach countries like Austria and Germany. One tragedy was when a bus was found with 71 refugees who had died from lack of oxygen.
"We hope each receives the mercy of God. And to Him, we ask to help us cooperate effectively to stop this crimes that are against our entire humanity.”
Pope Francis asked the international community to stop the violence against Christians. He reiterated that today there are more martyrs than during the early days of the Church.