Pope Francis' uncommon touch is being highlighted again, this time in a report of the pontiff offering his support to a woman to breast-feed in public.
The Francis Chronicles
"Humility is necessary for fruitfulness," Pope Francis said at Mass Thursday morning in the Casa Santa Marta. Francis explained, citing Scripture, that understanding God as the source of life and praying to God for guidance can overcome the sterility of our lives and can make them more fruitful, Vatican Radio reported.
He warned to be on the guard for pride, adding that people need the humility to say, "Lord, I am sterile, I am a desert."
Pope Francis said Christmas is an occasion of joy but also a lesson in humility, when the faithful are called to imitate the example of God-made-man.
The pope made his remarks Wednesday during his weekly public audience in St. Peter's Square.
"God abases himself, descends to earth as someone small and poor, which means that to be like him we should not put ourselves above others, but on the contrary, abase ourselves, give ourselves in service, make ourselves small with the small and poor with the poor," he said.
To celebrate his 77th birthday, Pope Francis celebrated Mass and had breakfast with three people who live on the streets near the Vatican.
A church without prophets falls into the trap of clericalism. These were the words of Pope Francis during his homily at Mass on Monday morning in the Vatican’s Casa Santa Marta, Vatican radio reported.
Pope Francis on Saturday morning visited the Pediatric Dispensary of Santa Marta in the Vatican. Then, at the Paul VI Hall, he met the children cared for at the Dispensary, along with their families and the volunteers who, every day, serve in the charitable institution, according to a Vatican radio report.
The children surprised the Holy Father with a small party ahead of his 77th birthday (Dec. 17), giving him a cake and a sweater.
Pope Francis has used his message for the annual World Day of Peace, released Thursday, to call for better treatment of the poor and suffering based on the Christian message that all people are brothers and sisters.
Mentioning over and over the relationship of God as a parent to humanity, the pope states: "All men and women enjoy an equal and inviolable dignity. All are loved by God."
The trafficking of human beings is a crime against humanity and must be stopped, Pope Francis told diplomats.
"It's a disgrace" that people are treated "as objects, deceived, raped, often sold many times for different purposes and, in the end, killed or, in any case, physically and mentally damaged, ending up thrown away and abandoned," he said.
THE POPE'S MESSAGE FOR WORLD DAY FOR PEACE
Vatican City, 12 December 2013 (VIS) - “ Fraternity as the foundation of peace and as the pathway to peace” is the title chosen by Pope Francis for his first message for the 47th World Day for Peace, which will be celebrated on 1 January 2014. The document, dated 8 December, Feast of the Immaculate Conception, consists of ten points, including a brief prologue and a conclusion, structured in relation to two biblical quotations: “Where is your brother?” (Genesis 4:9) and “And you will all be brothers” (Matthew 23:8), and six phrases describing attributes of fraternity: “Fraternity, the foundation and pathway to peace”, “Fraternity, a prerequisite for fighting poverty”, “The rediscovery of fraternity in the economy”, “Fraternity extinguishes war”, “Corruption and organized crime threaten fraternity” and “Fraternity helps to preserve and cultivate nature”.
The full text of the message is published below:
Pope Francis, the first pontiff from the Americas, said Wednesday that the two American continents are called to be "a land of generosity" where "different peoples come together."
Writing in a message to mark Thursday's feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, an apparition of Virgin Mary who is recognized by the church as the patroness of the Americas, Francis said Mary gives a "prophecy of an embrace."