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Pope Francis

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New secretary of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life

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General Audience: Pope begins a series of catecheses on the works of mercy

2016-10-12

The pope mentioned St. Faustina and Mother Teresa as he spoke about how these saints lived out the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, fighting the virus of indifference with charity, and recognizing the dignity of every person.

"Yet, as saints like Mother Teresa of Calcutta show us, they reveal the merciful face of Christ and can change the culture around us. Let us keep them always in mind and strive to practice them daily,” he said. 

Pope Francis announced that he will begin focusing his catecheses on each work of mercy, "as expressions of living faith, these works are often carried out quietly and with simple gestures.”


SUMMARY OF THE CATECHESIS IN ENGLISH 
(Source: Vatican Radio)

Dear Brothers and Sisters: 

During this Holy Year of Mercy, we have reflected on God’s mercy, revealed especially in the incarnation of his Son, and on our duty, as followers of Jesus, to be "merciful like the Father.” In Saint Matthew’s Gospel, the Lord tells us that we will be judged by the mercy we show to him, present in the least of our brothers and sisters. His words have inspired the seven traditional "corporal” works of mercy – feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, welcoming the stranger, healing the sick, visiting the imprisoned and burying the dead. 

The Church’s tradition also adds seven "spiritual” works of mercy – counseling the doubtful, instructing the ignorant, admonishing sinners, comforting the afflicted, forgiving offenses, bearing patiently those who do us ill, and praying for the living and the dead. As expressions of living faith, these works are often carried out quietly and with simple gestures. Yet, as saints like Mother Teresa of Calcutta show us, they reveal the merciful face of Christ and can change the culture around us. Let us keep them always in mind and strive to practice them daily.

I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, particularly those from England, Jersey, Ireland, Denmark, Ghana, Namibia, Nigeria, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines and the United States of America.  With prayerful good wishes that the present Jubilee of Mercy will be a moment of grace and spiritual renewal for you and your families, I invoke upon all of you joy and peace in our Lord Jesus Christ.

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