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Pope Francis

Pope Francis visits Benedict XVI before his upcoming birthday

April 13, 2017. Vatican releases statement that the pope visited Benedict XVI yesterday.

Pope Francis: "Let us listen to the wise advice of grandmothers"


Some of the funniest moments of the General Audience happen when the pope is greeting the pilgrims. This group of Brazilians stopped him this Wednesday to sing a song.

Others tried to stop him to get him to bless their children, although this little girl was frightened by the experience.

Then in his catechesis, the pope spoke of the temptation to put conditions on God to force him to solve our problems exactly as we want.

"We ask the Lord for life, health, affection, happiness; and it is right to do so. But do it with the assurance that God knows how to bring life also out of death, that one can experience peace also in sickness, and that there can be serenity also in solitude, and joy in weeping."

The pope recalled the biblical story of Judith. The city was surrounded by Nebuchadnezzar's army and the leaders gave God five days to help them before they would surrender. This poor widow, Judith, convinced them that God is a good father and knows what we need better than men.

"If we do a little recollection ... how many times have we heard wise words and brave advice from simple people and from humble women who people think know nothing! You're not trying to offend them, but you view them as ignorant. However, they are God's words of wisdom. The words from grandmothers. How many times do they say the right word, the word of hope? Because they have experienced life and have suffered so much, yet relied on God. The Lord gives them this gift of giving us hope through advice."

It was a General Audience that featured an unexpected participant, actor and politician Arnold Schwarzenegger. Who knows, it could have been a Terminator from the future coming to the Vatican with a message for the pope.

- BN