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Be as generous as the Good Samaritan, Pope urges faithful

By on Monday, 15 July 2013

Pope Francis delivers the Angelus address at Castel Gandolfo (AP)

Pope Francis delivers the Angelus address at Castel Gandolfo (AP)

God wants people to be generous and merciful, not full of condemnation toward others, Pope Francis said.

God is well aware of “our miseries, our difficulties, even our sins, and he gives all of us this merciful heart”, capable of being loving and merciful toward others, he told pilgrims gathered outside the papal summer villa.

“God always wants this: mercy, and not [people] going around condemning everyone,” he said yesterday before praying the Angelus.

While most popes spend a portion of the hot Roman summer at the papal residence in Castel Gandolfo for vacation, Pope Francis continues to reside at the Vatican.

But he said he wanted to spend a day visiting the people of this hilltop town as well as the Vatican staff who work at the papal villa to thank them for their service.

“My thoughts go to Blessed John Paul II and Benedict XVI, who loved spending part of the summer period in this pontifical residence,” he told the employees, as well as Bishop Marcello Semeraro of Albano and Milvia Monachesi, the town’s mayor.

The Pope encouraged everyone to hold on to their memories of meeting and helping his predecessors, asking that they take to heart the popes’ witness and let it encourage them to be faithful to Christ, the Gospel and Church teaching.

Some 55 people work at the papal villa, about half of whom are gardeners and farmers who take care of the papal cows, chickens, bees and orchards, which produce milk, eggs, honey, olive oil, fruits and vegetables for use and sale at the Vatican.

After meeting the villa staff and local authorities in the morning, the Pope prayed the Angelus with thousands of pilgrims and visitors packed outside the papal villa in the town’s main square and on the side streets. Rather than giving his address from the villa’s balcony, Pope Francis addressed the crowd at street level from the open front door of the villa.

Referring to the day’s Gospel reading – the story of the good Samaritan – the Pope encouraged everyone to be “good and generous” like the man in Jesus’s parable, and “put into practice the will of God, who wants mercy more than sacrifices” and burned offerings.

The Pope urged doctors, nurses and healthcare workers to live out the same spirit of the Good Samaritan and of their patron saint, St Camillus de Lellis. July 14 was the feast day of the saint, who founded the Camillians, an order dedicated to caring for the sick, and marked the beginning of a year-long celebration of the 400th anniversary of his death.

Pope Francis also congratulated the Diocese of Albano, which planned to celebrate the feast day of St Bonaventure, its patron saint, July 15.

The Pope said he hoped people would have a wonderful celebration and said: “I would love to send you a cake, but I don’t know if they can make one big enough.”

He also reminded people he was leaving for World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro in a week’s time. As people clapped and cheered enthusiastically, the Pope said: “I see there are lots of young people here, but there are also many who are young at heart. Very good!”

The Pope then joined a small group of his fellow Jesuits for a private lunch at the Vatican Observatory’s headquarters located in the villa’s gardens.

The group of Jesuit astronomers, led by Argentine Fr Jose Funes, showed the pope around the headquarters, including its meteorite laboratory.

The Pope “used a microscope to study a piece of the San Carlos meteorite, which fell near Buenos Aires”, the staff tweeted on its @VaticanObserv account.

The community was “greatly moved” by the Pope’s visit, it tweeted, and said that during lunch they told the Pope about their current projects.

“At the end of his visit, Pope Francis added his autograph to a parchment with signatures from all the popes who have visited the observatory,” it tweeted.

  • Kevin

    “God always wants this: mercy, and not [people] going around condemning everyone.”

    How can one reconcile this statement with the Holy Father’s homily from Lampedusa just one week ago:

    “Today…we have fallen into the hypocritical attitude of the priest and of the servant of the altar that Jesus speaks about in the parable of the Good Samaritan: We look upon the brother half dead by the roadside, perhaps we think ‘poor guy’, and we continue on our way, it’s none of our business; and we feel fine with this. We feel at peace with this, we feel fine!”

    Is the use of the first person plural any less accusatory? It is certainly compatible with “condemning everyone”.

    Or are we meant to reconcile the statements along lines similar to the Common Man’s concluding advice in A Man for All Seasons:

    “It isn’t difficult to keep alive, friends – just don’t condemn – or if you must condemn, make the sort of condemnation that’s expected.”

  • Julian Lord

    Oh good, I’m so glad the Pope has heeded his Bishop Emeritus’ advice to spend at least some time at Castel Gandolfo :-)

  • Julian Lord

    Is the use of the first person plural any less accusatory?


  • Kevin


  • PaulF

    He’s not pointing the finger at anyone.

  • Kevin

    Yes he is. He is literally condemning everyone, or the “world”, as the Herald headline puts it.

    If you feel guilty about something do you have the right to say “We all do it”? How do you know the state of everyone else’s soul?

  • Julian Lord

    We are all sinners.

    Do you believe yourself to be some kind of magic exception to that fact ?

  • Kevin

    Look at JabbaPapa’s second answer to me. He uses the first person plural and he is pointing the finger.

  • Kevin

    So the publican in Luke 18:13, instead of beating his breast and saying “I am a sinner”, should have cried, “We are all sinners – including that man at the front”?

  • Jabba Mama

    Thank you all for what is unexpectedly turning out to be a hilarious post.

    Yes, Jabba Pappa, we are all sinners but we are not all guilty of the same sins as you so obviously believe when you accuse another of conceit with your finger very pointedly jabbing at him (but then maybe we are all judgemental).

    The Holy Father seems to be falling into the same “we all” usage which was employed in the original government AIDS campaign. They were so busy trying not to offend particular groups that they completely missed the actual target (as was later admitted) and by saying ” we can all catch AIDS” they probably caused more people to die from continuing with the activities which were causing the problem.

    If anyone (priest or politician) insists on lumping all mankind together for every sin, he misses the fact that it is actually humanly possible to live a life that excludes that particular behaviour. How many times is it said in news discussions, “Of course, we all know what it’s like to be a teenager. We all got drunk on Saturday nights and had casual sex and smoked pot etc.”?
    Well, to be truthful – we don’t because a lot of us didn’t.

    Similarly, more of us may be Good Samaritans than the Pope might acknowledge in his blanket condemnation. That is not to say, Jabba, that we are not very conscious of other areas in our particular lives where we are certainly well aware that we are falling short of the Christian ideal.
    “We all” can be a very convenient excuse for not having to examine our own conscience truthfully.

  • Julian Lord

    hallo “phil”

  • londiniensis

    Someone might discreetly tell the Holy Father that although addressing the crowds at street level may well be a mark not exalting oneself, it also means that he can only be seen by those in the front row …

    And yes, bring back the sedia gestatoria, pretty much for the same reasons!

  • aspiring lay capuchin

    I think the media and your paper should stop over concentrating on every part the Pope’s words.including an almost daily summary of what he says in his morning masses. Its not what the Pope says that is important. After all the Pope isa theoligan in the Jesuit strand and that calls for long and rigourous training. He is unlikely to depart very much from an orthodox perspective. Its what the Pope does that matters and will affect the world. Many months passed and there are no changes to the top hierarchy. All the old cabal still in their places. I thought this was a Pope going to do some spring cleaning or reform of the church which the cardinals talked a lot about in their conclave?

  • Laurie12345

    Saint Bonaventure (Feast Day today) was known for, “counting the powers of human reason and emotions as less than the illumination granted by God and so may be seen as a mystical writer rather than a systematic theologian (Butler’s Lives)”.

    Pope Francis’s timely reference to the Saint (known as the ‘Second Founder’ of the Franciscan Order) may explain the obliqueness of the Pope’s homilies, as is often attributed by commentators to him (WRT to the unparalled Benedict XVI).

  • Chris

    “Many months passed and there are no changes.” You know there is an old saying that Rome was not built in a day! It may take many years to effect a change in the Vatican. Give him a chance because he has a lot on his plate.

  • Thomas Poovathinkal SSP

    You have no spiritual sense of things at all!!!

  • Thomas Poovathinkal SSP

    Helping with a communitarian examination of Conscience!