Pope Francis made a visit to the Bambin Gesù pediatric hospital on Saturday afternoon, touring the facility and visiting with the young patients of the care centre and with their families, as well as with medical professionals, other staff and administrators. He was welcomed in the courtyard of the facility by as many as four thousand well-wishers.
The Francis Chronicles
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.
"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.