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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis remembers anniversary of consecrating Russia and Ukraine to Mary

Enjoying the spring weather, Pope Francis held his General Audience in St. Peter's Square and greeted the pilgrims together with a group of children in the popemobile. 

Before starting the Audience, a traditional Florentine flag-waving group performed a routine to the sounds of drums and trumpets.

Contiuining his catechesis on evangelization, Pope Francis reminded those present that evengalizing is still relevant today. He said that giving a credibile testimony means living what a person preaches.

A person is credible if he has harmony between what he believes and what he lives—how to believe and how to live. So many Christians only say they believe but live another way as if they do not. And that is hypocrisy. The opposite of giving a witness is hypocrisy.

The Pope said that this evangelization is not only to help others or those who are not Christian, but that it is also for all Christians.

To give this witness, the Church as such must also begin "by evangelizing itself." If the Church does not evangelize itself, it remains a piece of museum.

At the end of his General Audience, Pope Francis continued his prayers for Ukraine, remembering the one year anniversary of his dedication of the Church to the Virign Mary.

My thoughts go back to March 25 last year when, in union with all the bishops of the world, the Church and all people, especially Russia and Ukraine, were consecrated to the Immaculate heart of Mary.

The Pope asked everyone present to remember the act of consecration every March 25 and to continue praying for an end to war and suffering.