“All these saints, in different contexts, put today’s word into practice in their lives, without lukewarmness, without calculation, with the passion to risk everything and to leave it all”

October 14, 2018

Today Pope Francis Canonizes Paul VI, Oscar Romero and 5 Other Saints.

“All these saints, in different contexts, put today’s word into practice in their lives, without lukewarmness, without calculation, with the passion to risk everything and to leave it all” – our efforts on climate require the same

Pope Francis has canonized Pope Paul VI, Archbishop Oscar Romero and five other saints.

This morning in St. Peter’s Square, before a crowd of about 70,000 people, Pope Francis presided over Holy Mass for the canonization of the saints while the Synod of Bishops on young people, the faith and vocational discernment is underway in the Vatican, Oct. 3-28, 2018.

He also proclaimed canonized saints Francesco Spinelli, Vincenzo Romano, Maria Caterina Kasper, Nazaria Ignazia of Saint Teresa of Jesus, and Nunzio Sulprizio.

Pope Francis began recalling that today’s second reading tells us that “the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two- edged sword (Heb 4:12).

“It really is: God’s word is not merely a set of truths or an edifying spiritual account; no – it is a living word that touches our lives, that transforms our lives. There, Jesus in person, the living Word of God, speaks to our hearts.”

The Gospel, he continued, invites us to an encounter with the Lord, after the example of the “man” who “ran up to him” (cf. Mk 10:17). The Pope pointed out that we can recognize ourselves in that man, as he asks Jesus how “to inherit eternal life” (v. 17).

“He is seeking life without end, life in its fullness: who of us would not want this? Yet we notice that he asks for it as an inheritance, as a good to be obtained, to be won by his own efforts. In fact, in order to possess this good, he has observed the commandments from his youth and to achieve this he is prepared to follow others; and so he asks: “What must I do to have eternal life?”

Jesus’ answer catches him off guard, the Pope said, reminding Jesus told him:“Sell what you have and give to the poor…and come, follow me” (v. 21). To you, too, the Pope noted, Jesus says: “Come, follow me!”

Seek Him Every Day, God as Meaning of Your Life

“Follow me: do not walk behind Jesus only when you want to, but seek him out every day; do not be content to keep the commandments, to give a little alms and say a few prayers: find in Him the God who always loves you; seek in Jesus the God who is the meaning of your life, the God who gives you the strength to give of yourself.”

“We cannot truly follow Jesus when we are laden down with things. Because if our hearts are crowded with goods, there will not be room for the Lord, who will become just one thing among the others.” The Pope noted that where money is at the center, there is no room for God nor for man.

Cannot Give Jesus Crumbs, When He Gives Himself as Our Living Bread

“Jesus is radical,” Francis said, noting: “He gives all and he asks all: he gives a love that is total and asks for an undivided heart. Even today he gives himself to us as the living bread; can we give him crumbs in exchange?”

The Pope said we cannot respond to Him, who made Himself our servant even going to the Cross for us, only by observing some of the Commandments.

“Jesus is not content with a “percentage of love”: we cannot love him twenty or fifty or sixty percent. It is either all or nothing.”

Our heart, the Pope went on to observe, is like a magnet: it lets itself be attracted by love, but it can cling to one master only and it must choose: either it will love God or it will love the world’s treasure; either it will live for love or it will live for itself (cf. Mk 8:35).

“Let us ask ourselves where we are in our story of love with God. Do we content ourselves with a few commandments or do we follow Jesus as lovers, really prepared to leave behind something for him? Jesus asks each of us and all of us as the Church journeying forward: are we a Church that only preaches good commandments or a Church that is a spouse, that launches herself forward in love for her Lord? Do we truly follow him or do we revert to the ways of the world, like that man in the Gospel?”

“In a word, is Jesus enough for us or do we look for many worldly securities? Let us ask for the grace always to leave things behind for love of the Lord: to leave behind wealth and yearning for status and power, structures that are no longer adequate for proclaiming the Gospel, those weights that slow down our mission, the strings that tie us to the world. Without a leap forward in love, our life and our Church become sick from “complacency and self-indulgence” (Evangelii Gaudium, 95): we find joy in some fleeting pleasure, we close ourselves off in useless gossip, we settle into the monotony of a Christian life without momentum, where a little narcissism covers over the sadness of remaining unfulfilled.”

The Pope stressed the necessity for us to give our whole hearts.

“Sadness is the proof of unfulfilled love, the sign of a lukewarm heart. On the other hand, a heart unburdened by possessions, that freely loves the Lord, always spreads joy, that joy for which there is so much need today.”

Francis recalled that Pope Saint Paul VI wrote: “It is indeed in the midst of their distress that our fellow men need to know joy, to hear its song” (Gaudete in Domino, I).

“Today Jesus invites us to return to the source of joy, which is the encounter with him, the courageous choice to risk everything to follow him, the satisfaction of leaving something behind in order to embrace his way. The saints have travelled this path.”

On Paul VI

St. Paul VI, like St. Paul, Francis observed, “spent his life for Christ’s Gospel, crossing new boundaries and becoming its witness in proclamation and in dialogue, a prophet of a Church turned outwards, looking to those far away and taking care of the poor.”

“Even in the midst of tiredness and misunderstanding, Paul VI bore witness in a passionate way to the beauty and the joy of following Christ totally. Today he still urges us, together with the Council whose wise helmsman he was, to live our common vocation: the universal call to holiness.”

“Not to half measures, but to holiness,” the Pope reminded.

“It is wonderful that together with him and the other new saints today, there is Archbishop Romero, who left the security of the world, even his own safety, in order to give his life according to the Gospel, close to the poor and to his people, with a heart drawn to Jesus and his brothers and sisters.”

Pope Francis said we can say the same about Francesco Spinelli, Vincenzo Romano, Maria Caterina Kasper, Nazaria Ignazia of Saint Teresa of Jesus, and “our young boy” from Naples, Nunzio Sulprizio.

Pope Francis concluded, saying: “All these saints, in different contexts, put today’s word into practice in their lives, without lukewarmness, without calculation, with the passion to risk everything and to leave it all.” 

Statement by Archbishop Bernardito Auza,

The United Nations has done much to protect indigenous peoples but there is much more needed. That was the message delivered at the United Nations on October 12, 2018, by Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Apostolic Nuncio, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, during the Seventy-third Session of the United Nations General Assembly, Third Committee Item 71: Rights of indigenous peoples in New York.

Archbishop Auza’s Full Statement:

Mr. Chair,

Over the last two decades, the United Nations has made significant progress in promoting and protecting the cultural values, patrimony and human rights of indigenous peoples, as well as in providing them with opportunities to become protagonists of their own cultural and social development. Perhaps the best example has been the adoption of the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) with the increasing commitment of States to its implementation. The active participation of Indigenous peoples alongside States each year at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) also remains an important and practical example of solidarity for the entire international community.

Mr. Chair,

Despite progress made, the environmental, cultural and spiritual patrimony of many indigenous populations remains under significant threat. At the local and national level, both economic and ideological colonization, imposed under the banner of so-called progress, continue to be carried out without concern for the human rights of indigenous peoples or for the environment in which they live.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in the Amazon basin, where new forms of mining and the extraction of valuable minerals and other resources by large corporations and business interests have led to devastating environmental degradation and deforestation, as well as the displacement of persons. Similarly, many seemingly well-intentioned land conservation policies and movements that intend to protect the natural environment and preserve biodiversity have led to the disruption of local economies and of the lives of the indigenous peoples who live there.

Without access to their own land, indigenous peoples, and especially the young, are often forced to migrate, in search of alternative forms of employment and education. This, in turn, sends many indigenous peoples into precarious situations of poverty and vulnerability, as they face discrimination and difficulty in finding work in the cities to where they are forced to flee.

Mr. Chair,

We must break with the historical paradigm that views the Amazon and other resource-rich regions of our world as inexhaustible sources of wealth, simply to be exploited.[1] We must also ensure that efforts at conservation and the protection of the natural environment take into consideration the rights and livelihood of the indigenous peoples who call those regions home.

First and foremost, this demands that they be included as principal partners in every deliberation that directly affects them. This includes the right to maintain their own institutions and to participate in the decision-making processes of the State and of other actors, as highlighted in the recent report of the Special Rapporteur on rights of indigenous peoples.[2] From the perspective of the Holy See, this also means recognizing and giving preference to those beneficial initiatives that indigenous communities and organizations are already undertaking. This is an expression of our strong support for the right of all indigenous peoples to self-determination.

Mr. Chair,

Indigenous peoples command an immense cultural reserve and set of living traditions that must be preserved and defended. The disappearance of their culture and way of life can be as serious as or even more serious than the loss of biodiversity or damage to our common home and ecological reserve. Assisting them to preserve their culture and traditions should remain our commitment moving forward.

As Pope Francis recently reminded us, “The recognition of [indigenous] people – who can never be considered a minority, but rather authentic dialogue partners – … reminds us that we are not the absolute owners of creation. We need urgently to appreciate the essential contribution that they bring to society as a whole, and not reduce their cultures to an idealized image of a natural state, much less a kind of museum of a bygone way of life. Their cosmic vision and their wisdom have much to teach those of us who are not part of their culture.”[3]

I thank you.

1. Pope Francis, Address at the Meeting with Indigenous People of Amazonia in Puerto Maldonado (Peru), 19 January 2018.
2. Report of the Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council on the rights of indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, submitted in accordance with Human Rights Council resolution 33/12 (A/73/176).
3. Ibidem.

Synod2018: Message to Young People from Cardinal Tagle

‘You are Very Much Present Here’

“You are very much present here. Take our hand and together we work for a better future”.  That was the theme of a short video issued October 12, 2018, by the Archbishop of Manila, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle. He spoke to young people from the Synod of Bishops in Rome.