Pope Francis' endearing visit to Roman parish: Don't let pain take away our happiness
The visit to St. Paul of the Cross at Corviale will be remembered as one of the most endearing ones for moments like this.
“Come on, come on, come on.”
“I can't do it.”
“Come with me, Emanuele. Come and tell me in my ear. Say it in my ear.”
The child seemed to be too embarrassed to ask a question in public. However, what actually troubled him was something much more profound.
“I asked for Emanuele's permission to share his question, and he told me, 'Yes.' 'My father died recently. He was atheist, but baptized his four children. He was a good man. Is my father in Heaven?' How beautiful for a son to say his father 'was a good man.'”
“Does God abandon his sons when they are good?”
“Here you have the answer, Emanuele. God is surely proud of your father because it's easier to baptize your children as a believer than as a non-believer.”
Pope Francis later met with the elderly from the parish. They told him the neighborhood is aging because young people are leaving, but their elders are staying.
The pope confessed to them that the encounter with the children was intense and reflected on youth and old age. He reminded that young people run, but the elderly know the path. The Holy Father also gave them a task.
“Each person has his or her own pain, his or her own wounds, everyone. But don't let this take away your hope or take away your happiness. And pray for me, please. But pray in favor, not against.”
Pope Francis warmly greeted each of the attendees before celebrating Mass in the parish.
He explained there that what truly ages is sin.
“Sin tires the heart, and we lose some faith in the Resurrected Christ. 'No, I don't believe, this would be a lot of joy... Yes, yes, He's alive but He's in Heaven dealing with his matters...' But His matters are me. Each one of us. But we're not capable of making this connection.”
The pope's visits to Roman parishes are full of charming moments. They're the bridge that help the Holy Father to not lose touch with people.