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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis visits Roman parish: Jesus prepares us to face life's tests

The rain didn't put a damper on the enthusiasm of those who welcomed Pope Francis to the parish of San Gelasio. Both young and old had eagerly awaited him. 

The children gave some gifts to the pope – letters, a visor. A very determined representative also shared a few warm words of welcome.

“Hello, Pope Francis. We were happily awaiting you and we're very happy you're here.”

However, she didn't know where to end. 

“We go to Sunday school to get to know Jesus and learn from his example...”

“Thank you, thank you. Very well done.”

Pope Francis expressed his gratitude to the young people and took advantage of the opportunity to share this message with them in light of the weather. 

“Listen to this: life is a bit like this afternoon. Sometimes it's sunny, but sometimes there are clouds, rain and bad weather. You should know that life is full of beautiful moments and bad moments. What must a Christian do? Go forward with courage, whether in good times or bad.”

After, the Holy Father entered the parish buildings, where he greeted the sick and elderly, such as this couple who have been married for 60 years. The pope told the elderly they are the arms of the Church and that they shouldn't lose contact with young people because their wisdom is needed. 

During Mass at San Gelasio, Pope Francis spoke of the Transfiguration of the Lord. 

The pope reminded that Christ wanted the Apostles to see it in all of its glory so they wouldn't lose hope following the Passion. 

“This is the message: Jesus always prepares us. He gives us the strength to continue walking in difficult times and overcome them with His strength. Jesus doesn't leave us alone in life's tests. He always prepares us.”

Pope Francis also suggested keeping in mind that life's difficulties, whether great or little, hold an important message that each person must discover.

“In daily life, we will have problems or have to resolve many things. Let's ask ourselves this: What is Jesus telling me today? Try to listen to the voice of Jesus, find the inspiration inside. That way, we follow God's advice: this is my Son, the Beloved, listen to Him.”

This parish has especially experienced pain. Two years ago, a Sunday school child named Giulia died during an earthquake and saved her sister's life by covering her.