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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis explains why prayer, charity and fasting are keys to Lent

Pope Francis met in the Vatican with a group of benefactors from the French-Belgian association Pro Petri Sede, which collects donations for the pope's initiatives. During the encounter, the Holy Father asked them this dramatic question. 

“In light of evidence of a world marked by indifference, violence, selfishness and pessimism, it's useful to wonder if the problem is the lack of charity in hearts as well as in relations with God and others.”

It's the same question the pope posed in his Lenten message. In response, Pope Francis said the Church has three solutions to this drama – prayer, fasting and charity. 

“Prayer brings us back to the path of truth about ourselves and about God; fasting makes us share the reality of so many people who face the anguish of hunger and makes us pay more attention to our neighbor; charity is a blessed occasion to collaborate with God's providence in benefit of His children.”

This organization comes from the Pontifical Zuaves, a French volunteer army that was established to defend Pio IX during Italian unification.