Pope Francis

In the Name of the Mother

In the words chosen by the Pope for the feast days, the themes of family and life are constantly and concretely evoked
Papa Angelus.jpg

The year just begun “opens in the name of the Mother of God.” Mary, placing herself as a mother between her son Jesus and people, carries out “a very special function.” Furthermore, “all parents” are “guardians of their children’s lives,” not owners, and they have the task of “helping them grow and become mature.” Finally, the family is led to the “mission” of “creating the favorable conditions for the harmonious and full growth of their children, so that they may live a good life, worthy of God and constructive for the world." Mother, woman, children, but also gift, beauty, fragility are the words full of humanity that Pope Francis has pronounced on the recent feast days, evoking continually and concretely the themes of family and life.


Francis spoke about human life “to be served” in his homily on New Year’s Day on the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. “All life, from life in the mother’s womb to that of the elderly, the suffering and the sick, and to that of the troublesome and even repellent, is to be welcomed, loved and helped.” “God—the Pope continued in the course of the same homily— is close to humanity, even as a child is close to the mother who bears him in her womb” and, hence, “man is no longer alone; no more an orphan, but forever a child,” but immersed in the “beauty of knowing that we are beloved children, of knowing that this childhood of ours can never be taken away from us.”


Speaking of Our Lady, to whom he entrusted 2018, Pope Francis stressed that the devotion to her “is not a spiritual etiquette,” but “a requirement of the Christian life” that helps to “rediscover what really matters:” “The gift of the Mother, the gift of every mother and every woman,—he continued—is most precious for the Church, for she too is mother and woman.”


The Pope highlighted the “very special function” carried out by Mary during the Angelus of January 1st, dedicated to the 51st World Day of Peace on the theme “Migrants and refugees: men and women seeking peace.” "Mary intercedes, as at Cana, aware—he said—that, as a mother, she can and indeed must turn her Son’s attention to people’s needs, especially to those of the weakest and most disadvantaged.”


Now, if “so many other footsteps are hidden in the footsteps of Joseph and Mary” and “we see the tracks of entire families forced to set out in our own day,”—he underscored in the homily pronounced in St. Peter’s Basilica on Christmas Eve—then, “every time families, including those who are those wounded and marked by fragility, failure and hardship, return to the source of the Christian experience, new roads and unimagined possibilities open up,” he added during the Angelus for the Feast of the Holy Family of Nazareth on the last day of the year.


The “fullness of time” was the focal point of the Pope’s homily on the occasion of the Te Deum: since “faith makes us contemplate and feel that Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, gave fullness to the time of the world and to human history,” “the first person who experienced this sense of fullness given by the presence of Jesus was precisely the ‘woman’ from whom He is ‘born.’ [...] The fullness of time flowed through her.” The time of the year 2017 too, “that God—the Pope reflected—gave us whole and healthy, we humans have in many ways wasted and wounded with works of death,” not only through war, but also—he concluded—with “all the small and big offenses against life, truth, fraternity, which cause multiple forms of human, social, and environmental degradation.”

06 January 2018
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