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Rome Reports

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Pope in Loreto: Saints are needed in all states of life to renew the Church and society

Pope Francis traveled to the Shrine of Loreto in central Italy to sign a letter addressed to young people around the world. He wanted to leave Rome to give prominence to this magisterial document, which is technically an “apostolic exhortation,” entitled “Christ lives.”

In Loreto, the pope celebrated Mass in the “holy house,” which tradition says is constructed with the walls from Mary's house in Nazareth. 

Then, he met with sick people from the area. 

He also met a group of deaf people and spoke sign language with them. 

Later, in the Shrine's square, he explained that this new document on young people is an invitation for all youth to seek out their own vocation. 

“We must be ready and available to listen and welcome God's voice. We cannot look inside ourselves in the midst of noise and agitation. His design for our personal and social life cannot be perceived by staying on the surface, but by going to a deeper level, where moral and spiritual forces act. There, Mary invites young people to look inside, to pay attention to God's action."

The pope recalled that one discovers his or her vocation in three steps: stopping to listen, personally discerning what has been heard, and making a decision to act.

“We need simple and wise people who are humble and courageous, poor and generous. Testimonies of holiness in every state of life, to renew the Church and raise society with the yeast of God's kingdom.”

Pope Francis was only in Loreto a few hours and he had lunch with the bishops from the region. The whole menu wasn't revealed; only the dessert. It was a cake made by young people from a nearby school.