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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis: People don't have to pay for priest to pray for them at Mass, it's free

When he arrived at the Audience hall, the pope stopped for the smallest pilgrims.

He also did so for the elderly...

Plus, there was time for selfies. 

Later, in his catechesis on the Mass, Pope Francis explained the second part of the Mass, the “Eucharistic Prayer,” which begins after the offering of the bread and wine. This stage joins the prayers of everyone with those of the Church. 

POPE FRANCIS “To unite them, the faithful must understand what the priest says, and that's why the Church wanted this celebration to be said in the language the people understand – to unite them in praise, in this grand prayer with the priest.”

The pope recalled that following the consecration, a petition in the name of the entire Church, both living and dead, is presented to God.

POPE FRANCIS “If I know people, relatives or friends who need prayers, or who have died, I can name them at that time, or internally in silence, or write it for the priest to say. 'Oh, father, how much do I have to pay for the priest to read the name?' Nothing. Understood? Mass doesn't cost a thing. The Mass is Christ's sacrifice, which is free. Redemption is free. If you want to make an offering, make one, but you don't have to pay.”

Before leaving, Pope Francis reminded the Paralympic Games begin this week in PyeongChang. The Holy Father sent a greeting to officials from both Koreas and urged them to take advantage of this opportunity to cultivate peace. 

POPE FRANCIS “The Olympics have shown how sports can build bridges between countries in conflict and make a large contribution to possibilities for peace among peoples.”

The pope also mentioned that many cities worldwide are celebrating “24 Hours for the Lord” this Friday, during which churches will be open throughout the night for people to be able to confess. 

Before leaving, the Holy Father was able to greet this mini-pope, a baby whose parents dressed him as Pope Francis himself.