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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis at Angelus: The Cross is not a decorative object

After visiting Padre Pio's birth place and pilgrimage site, the pope resumed his usual agenda.

Before 20,000 people on Sunday, he explained the true meaning of the Cross.

"Today's Gospel invites us to turn our gaze to the crucifix, which is not an object of decoration or a clothing accessory, which is sometimes abused. It is a religious sign that must be contemplated and understood."

Before praying the Angelus with the pilgrims, the pope recommended rediscovering the meaning behind the crucifix.

"I can think, 'How do I look at the crucifix? As a piece of art, seeing if it is beautiful or not? Or do I look inside, into the depths of Jesus, all the way to His heart? Do I look at the mystery of a God who humbled Himself to death, like a slave, like a criminal? Do not forget this: look at the crucifix, but look at it with meaning."

After praying the Angelus, the pope thanked the people of Pietrelcina and San Giovanni Rotondo for the warm welcome they gave him after his pilgrimage to pray before St. Padre Pio's remains.