After reciting the Sunday Angelus with pilgrims in St. Peter's Square, the pope stated his intention to visit the victims of the 6.2 magnitude earthquake in Italy and encouraged them, saying the Church also shares in their sufferings and worries.
Afterwards, he led all the visiting pilgrims in a Hail Mary, for the intention of the victims and their families.
'Dear brothers and sisters, I hope to come to see you as soon as possible, to bring you in person the comfort of the faith, the embrace of a father and a brother, and the support of Christian hope.â?
His thoughts were on the earthquake, even as he recapped the Luke Gospel reading by reminding pilgrims not to recline at a place of honor when invited to a wedding banquet, but rather the lowest place, so the host can then invite the guest to a higher place.
His reflection coincided with the recent happenings, when Pope Francis thanked people who offer their assistance through works of mercy, especially at the earthquake last week.
'We pray for the dead and for the survivors. The solitude in which authorities, police, civil protection and volunteers are operating shows how important solidarity is to overcome such painful trials.â?
The pope also mentioned the attitude of the host of the dinner party, telling them not to only invite wealthy guests who could repay them for their generosity. He asked for people to open their hearts and pay special attention to the sufferings of refugees, the poor and those disguarded by society.
'Rather, when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind and you will be blessed because they cannot repay you. In fact, the poor, the simple, the ones that do not count, they can never repay for an invitation to the canteen.â?
Pope Francis asked for the intention of the Angelus to be so the Virgin Mary would help pilgrims grow in humility, so they could serve the marginalized without expecting anything in return.