Pope Francis calls for prayer for persecuted Christians: They want to force them out of their homes
As soon as he entered the General Audience, Pope Francis blessed this little pilgrim, who did everything he could to touch the Holy Father's cross.
Later, the pope began his catechesis. The most special moment was his greeting to Arabic-speaking pilgrims.
“I especially greet pilgrims from Syria, the Holy Land and the Middle East... It's a land full of martyrs... We have to pray for these brothers who are in war, and for persecuted Christians, they want to force them out of that land. Let us pray for these brothers and sisters of ours.”
In his catechesis, Pope Francis explained the rite of the offering of gifts, when the same elements Jesus held in his hands at the Last Supper, the bread and wine, are carried to the altar. This offering has a deep meaning.
“In this spiritual offering of the entire Church, life, suffering, prayers and the work of all the faithful are gathered and joined with those of Christ into one offering. Thus, it's good for the faithful to be the ones who present the bread and the wine to the priest so he may place them on the altar.”
When the Audience ended, Pope Francis made sure to greet the elderly and sick who awaited him in the first row and took time to speak with each of them.