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Vatican

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Pope Francis

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Let us not 'wash our hands,' thinking prisoners are in jail because they did something bad

2016-11-09

In his usual Wednesday General Audience, Pope Francis spent much of his time in the popemobile greeting the little ones.

Some of them wore funny costumes. Others experienced the pope's concern, when he made sure they were properly dressed for the cold weather in Rome.

A group of pilgrims who were chefs, made sure the pope did not go hungry. They gave him this pizza with his name written on it, and this cake to sweeten his morning.

Pope Francis spoke about his encounter with the prisoners during the Jubilee of prisoners and highlighted a moment that really struck him.

POPE FRANCIS
"I met a group of prisoners from Padua and asked them what they would do the following day before returning to Padua. They told me, 'We will go to the Mamertine prison to share in the experience of St. Paul.' How nice! Listening to that made me feel good."

He stressed the importance of knowing how to forgive and to avoid judging those who are wrong. He said it is very easy for one to "wash their hands" when someone talks about prisoners, saying they are in jail because they have done something wrong.

On November 20, the Jubilee of Mercy will end and the pope remembered how much this mercy influences the lives of believers.

POPE FRANCIS
"Mercy is transmitted through a gesture, a word, a visit. This mercy is an act that restores the joy and dignity of those who have lost it."

He said visiting those in prison is also an act of mercy, recalling that even Jesus, St. Paul and St. Peter had to suffer the experience of being in prison.


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