Pope Francis: Saints of 1622 remind us we are called to be together, despite differences

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Pope Francis ventured out of the Vatican to attend the Mass for the 400th anniversary of the canonization of Saints Ignatius of Loyola, Francis Xavier, Theresa of Avila, and Philip Neri, celebrated at the Church of the Gesù in Rome, the mother church of the Society of Jesus.

It was presided over by the Superior General of the Jesuits, Arturo Sosa. 

In his homily, Pope Francis recalled the diversity in the lives of these figures, collectively known as the saints of 1622, who were declared saints 400 years ago.

'The saints we commemorate today were pillars of communion. They remind us that, for all our differences of character and viewpoint, we have been called to be together.'

The Pope referred to these prominent saints as models of those who responded to the needs of their times to serve others beyond themselves.

'For the followers of Jesus, now is not the time to sleep, to let our souls be sedated, anesthetized by today’s consumerist and individualistic culture, with the attitude that “life is good as long as it’s good for me.”
'One of the great tragedies of our time is refusing to open our eyes to reality and looking the other way.'

At the end of the Mass, a group of refugees gave the Pope a book of photos and stories that share the lives of refugees living in Rome.

And before proceeding out, the celebrants consecrated an image of St. Ignatius of Loyola, and asked for the intercession of all the saints of 1622 to guide them through the next 400 years and beyond.


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