Follow example of John Paul II, says Pope Francis
Pope Francis has marked the 41st anniversary of the election of Pope John Paul II by addressing Polish pilgrims and encouraging evangelisation.
On 16 October 1978, Cardinal Karol Wojtyła became the first non-Italian pope for 455 years.
“I warmly welcome Polish pilgrims. Dear brothers and sisters, today we remember the election of Cardinal Karol Wojtyła to the Holy See. We thank the Lord for all the good that happened in the Church, world and in people’s hearts thanks to his words, deeds and holiness,” Pope Francis said during his weekly audience.
The pope was speaking about evangelisation and referred to the evangelising efforts of Pope John Paul II.
The so-called ‘Pilgrim pope’, who died in 2005, was well known for travelling around the world to spread the Gospel, visiting 104 countries. This was more than all visits made by previous popes.
“Let us remember that his appeal to ‘open your heart to Christ’ is always timely,” he said.
“Through the intercession of Saint John Paul II, I ask the Lord for abundant gifts of the Holy Spirit for all of you, your families, communities and the whole church,” he said.
Pope Francis referred to Peter’s encounter with Cornelius. It was unlawful at the time for a Jewish man to meet with a Gentile, and Peter is harshly rebuked by the community in Jerusalem for visiting and baptising him.
Peter learns that “God shows no partiality” and that “whoever fears him and acts uprightly is acceptable to him,” according to the Gospel account.
The pope posed some questions regarding evangelisation, based on the passage: “How do we act with our brothers and sisters, especially with those who are not Christians? Are we an impediment to an encounter with God? Do we block their encounter with the Father or do we facilitate it?” he asked.
He also prayed for an openness to a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
“Let us ask for the grace to let ourselves be astounded by God’s surprises, not to hinder his creativity, but to recognise and foster the ever-new ways through which the Risen One pours out his Spirit in the world,” the pope said.
Picture: Pope Francis leads his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican on 16 October 2019. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)Tags: catholic, Catholic Church, Christian, Christians, Church, Holy Spirit, Pope, Pope Francis, the Holy Spirit, the vatican, Vatican