Angelus Domini - Catholic Church of Montreal

Angelus Domini

March 17, 2013

We all waited impatiently for that first meeting with Francis Sunday. In the early morning, he celebrated the Eucharist in the small church of Saint Anne, inside the Vatican. For us, the size of this church would be comparable to that of a chapel seating about a hundred people.

Hence one had to get up early to hope for a place inside the temple. Thanks to Vatican Television, we followed the most important moments of the mass. He once more surprised many faithful by the content of his homily: using as background the story of the adulterous woman, he put emphasis on the infinite mercy of God at the expense of outright condemnation.

At the end of the mass, he insisted on greeting personally those who were present, stooping to kiss the children and even going all the way to Vatican City's limits to greet the faithful gathered at the entrance. I can only imagine the monumental headache he must be for security services. Will he be able to maintain this kind of proximity with the faithful before being trapped in the bubble that often surrounds the powerful figures of this world?  

The highlight of the day was his appearance for the Angelus. The crowd was so dense on St. Peter's Square we could barely move an inch.

I leave it to specialists to comment on his message, but what continues to amaze me since his election is the kindness and warmth emanating from this man.

He addresses the faithful, calling them "my sisters and my brothers," and draws their attention again to divine mercy and God's patience.  

He does not hesitate to use contemporary images to illustrate his Sunday commentary. I saw, from where I was, many faithful moved by the Holy Father's words. And what can be said of his parting words to the crowd at the end of the meeting? "The Lord bless you; may Mary protect you. And never forget that the Lord never tires of forgiving. It is we who tire of asking forgiveness. Good Sunday and buon appetito!" This is the language of a father who wants to be close to his children. Is it not just the same for God toward us? 

This pontificate bodes very well indeed. 

Richard Saint-Louis, d.p. 


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