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Pope invokes Saint Paul as model for pastoral care at General Audience

Pope Francis has introduced a new cycle of catechesis at his General Audience centered on Saint Paul's Letter to the Galatians. 

He says the letter expresses the apostle's teachings on the Christian message, such as the “demands of our new life in the Spirit.” The Pope also said Saint Paul's letter reveals his “courageous pastoral care” for the young Church.

By reflecting on the Letter to the Galatians, Pope Francis says Christians can share in the liberation brought by Christ through a “humble and fraternal love,” and “ trusting in the guidance of the Holy Spirit.”


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Today we begin a new cycle of catecheses on important themes in Saint Paul’s Letter to the Galatians.

This Letter is vital for an appreciation of both the person of the Apostle and his teaching on central aspects of the Christian message, such as the grace of Christ, the freedom it brings and the demands of our new life in the Spirit. Paul begins by forcefully reaffirming the Gospel, which he had preached to the Galatians.

The Letter also reveals Paul’s courageous pastoral care for this young Church, which had been shaken by those who believed that pagan converts were obliged to observe the prescriptions of the Mosaic law. In response, the Apostle proclaims the newness brought by Christ and its expression in the fruits of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

In our reflections on the Letter to the Galatians, we will come to see that the authentic way to share the liberation brought by the crucified and risen Savior is through a humble and fraternal love, trusting in the guidance of the Holy Spirit at every moment of the Church’s pilgrimage through history.

I cordially greet the English-speaking faithful. May tomorrow’s celebration of the

Solemnity of the Birthday of Saint John the Baptist inspire us to imitate his humble witness to the Lamb of God. Upon you and your families I invoke the joy and peace of the Lord.

May God bless you!