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Rome Reports

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Pope expresses closeness with Christians in Iraq and prays for WWII victims

Over 20,000 pilgrims packed St. Peter's Square for Pope Francis' weekly General Audience.  The Pope talked about the Church as a mother, saying that it has the Virgin Mary as its model. POPE FRANCIS "Looking at Mary, we discover the beautiful and tender face of the Church. Looking at the Church, we recognize the sublime features of Mary. We Christians, we are not orphans, we have a mom, we have a mother and this is great! We are not orphans! The Church is a mother. Mary is a mother.â? The Pope explained that like a mother, the Church seeks to help Her children live a life full of joy and peace. The Church also has the courage to defend her children when they are in danger.  POPE FRANCIS "This is the Church! This is the Church that we all love. This is the Church that I love: a mother who has in Her heart the good of her own children. Who is capable of giving Her life for Her children. We must not forget that the Church is not just the priests, or us bishops. No, it is all of us, the Church is all of us. Agreed?â? The Pope greeted the pilgrims present especially those who cames from Iraq. He also assured his closeness to those suffering persecution. POPE FRANCIS "Today, I want to reassure my closeness to Christians, to the defenseless and persecuted. You are in the heart of the Church. The Church suffers with you and the Church is proud of you. It's proud to have sons and daughters like you. You are its strength and you offer a concrete and authentic testimony of salvation, forgiveness and love. I send all of you a hug. May the Lord bless and protect you.â?  The Pope also made mention of the 75th anniversary of the beginning of World War II. Remembering those who died in the conflict, the Pope said that "especially today, we are in need of peace.â? JAE CTV FA -BN Up: YJA