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Rome Reports

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Pope in Holy Week's General Audience: Forgiveness breaks the circle of evil

During the General Audience the pope reflected on three phrases that Jesus said during His Passion. The pope said they show that God does not seek His personal glory.

Pope Francis also spoke about how Jesus reacts in solitude. He does not close in on Himself, but prays. He feels like God abandoned Him, but His trusting attitude is what allows Him to forgive.

"It was probably the moment of the most acute pain, when Jesus was pierced with nails in His wrists and feet. Here, during the apex of pain, love reaches its peak. Forgiveness comes, which is, the gift to the nth power, which destroys the circle of evil."

The pope also sent a verbal message of support for France, after the tragedy of the Notre Dame cathedral.

"Dear brothers and sisters, I've been in a lot of pain and I feel very close to all of you. Close to all who have worked, risking themselves, to save the basilica. It is appreciated by the whole Church."

The pope addressed these words to the participants of the UNIV forum, a congress with university students from five continents. It was promoted by St. Josemaría Escrivá, the founder of Opus Dei.

"Dear young people who are going to these formation days. Following the example of St. Josemaría, always base your life more on the values of the faith until, by changing yourselves according to the model of Christ, you can transform the world that surrounds you."

This was the last public audience before starting the main liturgical ceremonies of Holy Week.

On Holy Thursday Pope Francis will visit a prison outside Rome. On Friday, he will pray the Way of the Cross at the Colosseum, which is focused on human trafficking this year. On Saturday and Sunday, he will celebrate the Resurrection at St. Peter's, where he will impart the Urbi et Orbi blessing from the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica.