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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.
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Pope in Carpi: Do not be imprisoned by pessimism to be alone and disheartened


Arriving to the sound of the bells, Pope Francis made his way to Piazza dei Martiri. He greeted the priests and bishops who were present before starting Mass in this once devastated town after the 2012 earthquake.

Pope Francis reflected on the Gospel passage about the death of Lazarus, saying that even Jesus was "deeply troubled” at the loss of his friend, enough to "burst into tears.” However, He also offers an example of how to escape the prison of pessimism in the midst of the mystery of suffering.

"Let us not be imprisoned by the temptation to be alone and disheartened, to feel sorry for ourselves for what happens to us. Do not yield to useless logic and inconclusive fear, resigned to repeat that everything is wrong and nothing is like it used to be. This is the atmosphere of the tomb; the Lord wants to instead open the way of life, the encounter with Him, trust in Him, the resurrection of the heart.”

Pope Francis says that no matter how big the suffering, sin or shame is, Christians must remove the stone blocking them from the joy of the resurrection. He says Jesus invites everyone to come out of the sadness, fear and weakness, but instead come to the light of hope.

"We can, however, find a new stability, and this stability is precisely Jesus, who is the resurrection and the life. With Him, joy dwells in the heart, hope is reborn, the pain is transformed into peace, fear into confidence, the trial into a love offering. Although the weights will not fail, His hand will always be lifted over you, His Word encourages you and tells you: "Come out! Come to me!"

Pope Francis ended the Mass by offering this chalice to the town of Carpi, as a memory of his visit. The town also had a message for him, "Carpi is with you, and the joy that makes all things new.”