We begin in Rome where during the Pope’s weekly Regina Coeli address yesterday, he told the crowds that the “Liturgy continues, with the intention of helping us rediscover our identity, as disciples of the Risen Lord.”
"Who is the Christ who heals", the Pope asked? “The answer”, he said, “is found in the day’s Gospel. Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd who lays down his life for his sheep.”
Beginning with the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, the Pope said that St Peter openly declared that the healing of a crippled man was accomplished in the name of Jesus because there is no salvation through anyone else.
"We can all be healed of our spiritual infirmities", the Pope said, “if we put our very being into the hands of the Risen Lord."
Before the end of the General Audience, the Holy Father also called for an end to violence in Nicaragua and expressed his concern for the situation in that country where 25 people have been killed, when security forces attempted to break-up anti-government protests. The Pope said he was close to the people of Nicaragua in prayer, and unites his voice to that of the Nicaraguan Bishops, in asking for the political situation to be resolved peacefully with a sense of responsibility.
Last Friday, the Holy Father traveled to the south of Italy to commemorate the 25th Death anniversary of Bishop Don Tonino Bello. I have for you now, some highlights of that visit.
To Cuba now, where Catholic youth received a video message from the Pope asking them to be good patriots, to love your nation, and to love your country. "Be generous and open your hearts to the Lord," the pope said in the video message sent to young men and women attending a meeting for youth ministry leaders in Havana.
And finally, today is April 23rd and marks the feast day of St. George and the name day of Jorge Mario Bergoglio. But who exactly is the saint behind the legend?
According to an 11th-century legend, St George was the saint who killed the dragon, a symbol that iconography associates with the Devil himself. St. George is believed to have been an officer in the army of the Emperor Diocletian. The episode of the dragon-slaying relates how St George protected by the Cross, killed a people-eating dragon, thus ensuring that Faith triumphed over evil.
St George defeated the dragon in a symbolic victory of Good over Evil. During his reflections at the General Audience of February 8th, 2017, Pope Francis said: “We can never repay evil with evil. We must overcome evil with good, offenses with forgiveness”. “This is how we live in peace”, he continued, “this is the Church. This is what Christian hope produces when it takes on the strong yet tender features of Love. Because Love is both strong and tender. It is beautiful”.
St.George died a martyr’s death in the year 303AD.
That is all that we have time for today. Join us again tomorrow, when I bring you more news and stories from the Perspective of a Catholic Lens.