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Pope visits Roman parish: Language of a Christian is sweetness and respect

2017-05-22

The Pope spent Sunday afternoon at a parish in Rome, St. Pier Damiani, located on the outskirts of the city. 

As soon as he arrived, he met the children who receive catechesis there. They asked him several questions.

One asked what they can do to save the world. The pope proposed some ideas: prayer, playing and respecting people. 

POPE FRANCIS
"What should I do if a person has hurt me? Can I hurt him too?

No!

No. It's not pretty. Can I call the mafia to do something to him?

No!

You do not seem convinced... can you do this?

No!

Can you make deals with the mafia?

No!”

One of the children also asked Pope Francis how he discovered his vocation and why he became a priest.

POPE FRANCIS
"I was 16 years old, and I felt the Lord wanted me to become a priest. Here I am! I am a priest. This is the answer. It's felt in the heart. Just as when a boy feels sympathy in his heart, then it grows, and feels love for a girl, and then they become engaged and get married. It's felt in the heart when the Lord says to you: 'You must follow the way to become a priest.'"

Later, the pope met with a group of the Neocatechumenal Way, then with several poor, and later heard the confessions of four people. 

When he entered this modern church many families were waiting for Mass. 

In his homily, Pope Francis recalled that Christians should always speak with sweetness and respect so that the Holy Spirit may enter their souls. 

POPE FRANCIS
"How many people come to a parish, for example seeking this peace, this respect, this sweetness, and finds internal struggles among the people. Instead of sweetness and respect, they find gossip, slander, jealousy, competition, one against each other... An air not of incense but of gossip. And what does this say? 'If these are Christians, I prefer to remain pagan.' And he goes away.”

As a reminder of the visit, the parish priest gave him a sculpture of the Good Shepherd. He asked the pope to pray for them every time he looked at it. 

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