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With today's martyrs

· On Palm Sunday the Pope recalls persecuted Christians and calls everyone to follow God on the way of humility ·

And at the Angelus he prays for the victims of the plane crash in the French Alps

On Palm Sunday, Francis' thoughts went to “the martyrs of our own time” for “their lives of fidelity to the Gospel”. “We think too of our brothers and sisters who are persecuted because they are Christians”, he said during the homily at Mass on Sunday morning, 29 March, in St Peter's Square. They are, he added, today's martyrs who “refuse to deny Jesus and they endure insult and injury with dignity”.

In the attitude of this “cloud of witnesses”, the Pope pointed to the example of all those who follow Christ on the way of humility. “These words”, he said, show us God’s way and, consequently, that which must be the way of Christians: it is humility. A way which constantly amazes and disturbs us: we will never get used to a humble God!”

This “way of humility” is also “Jesus' way”; He who took this “path to the full”, taking on the “form of a slave”. In effect, the Pope observed, “humility also means service. It means making room for God by stripping oneself, 'emptying oneself'”. And this is the “greatest humiliation”, he assured.

Christians are tempted to take the the way “opposed to the way of Christ. It is worldliness” which proposes “the way of vanity, pride, success”. The Evil One proposed this way to Jesus too, during his forty days in the desert. With Jesus, the Pope said, “and only by his grace, with his help, we too can overcome this temptation to vanity, to worldliness, not only at significant moments, but in daily life as well.”

“During this week”, he said, concluding, “ let us set about with determination along this same path of humility, with immense love for him, our Lord and Saviour”.

At the end of the celebration, Francis recited the Marian prayer with the faithful, especially greeting the young people and the individual dioceses which had come to Rome for the 30th World Youth Day, which will next be celebrated in Krakow. At the Angelus the Holy Father also sent his thoughts out to the victims of the tragedy in the French Alps last Tuesday. 

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St. Peter’s Square

Sept. 20, 2018

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