Pope Francis got an intense applause by the pilgrims in St. Peter's Square when, on Sunday, just a few hours after the last earthquake, he remembered those affected and conveyed his closeness with them in these difficult times.
"I convey my closeness to the people in Central Italy who have been struck by the earthquake.”
The earthquake that struck Italy on Sunday morning, with a magnitude of 6.5 in the Richter scale, has been the strongest in Italy in the last 36 years.
As he normally does during the Angelus prayer, the pope also reflected on the day's Gospel. It told the story of how Jesus changes the behavior of a sinner, Zacchaeus, in a very peculiar way, without scolding him.
"Jesus' attitude towards Zacchaeus lights up a different path: that of showing he who strays that he is still valued; the value that God never ceases to acknowledge, despite everything, despite all his mistakes.”
The pope concluded his homily by asking the pilgrims for their prayers for his trip to Sweden, and reminding them that, in many places around the world, Christians are still being persecuted because of their faith.