March 17, 2013. (Romereports.com) On Sunday, the Pope celebrated Mass at the Vatican's Santa Ana parish. Surrounded by families and children, the surprise came towards the end, when Pope Francis greeted all the people gathered there, with one special request: Pray for me, ok?
The parish is small. It's right between the border between Italy and the Vatican. Mostly, it's lay Vatican employees who celebrate Mass there.
Reflecting on the Gospel, the Pope gave a six minute homily on forgiveness as he explained that Jesus forgave the woman who committed adultery.
“In a way we are also like this. On one hand, we like to follow Jesus, but on the other we like to scold people and condemn them. But the message of Jesus is one of mercy.”
In fact, in his last interview, as cardinal, he talked about the element of forgiveness, saying that this one characteristic is what impresses him most about Jesus.
“Oh Father, 'if you only knew about my life, you wouldn't speak to me like that.' I ask Why, what have you done? 'Well, very bad things.... That's when I say, 'Even better...go to Jesus. He wants you to speak to Him. The Lord forgets, He forgives it all and never gets tired. It is we who get tired of asking for forgiveness.'”
In the front row, there were several priests from Argentina. The Pope introduced one of the priests, who works in Uruguay, helping recovering drug addicts.
Before leaving the Pope greeted everyone, asking them for their prayers as he begins his pontificate.
Before the Angelus, the enthusiasm was quite clear as thousands of pilgrims were hoping to greet the Pope outside the Vatican...they did get that chance.