#PopeFrancis "...she brings Jesus to all, he who is the love of God made flesh and gives meaning to our lives and saves us from evil.” FULL VIDEO - in Milan
(Combined Vatican Radio Reports) Pope Francis on Saturday greeted the Rom, Islamic, and immigrant families of the ‘White Houses’ in the Forlanini quarter of Milan at the beginning of his one-day pastoral visit to the city.
Upon his arrival, residents gave the Holy Father two gifts: a priestly stole and a picture of a statuette of the Madonna.
Pope Francis thanked them for their gifts and said it was important for him to be welcomed to Milan by a community of families.
He said the stole was a reminder that he comes “as a priest: I come to Milan as a priest”.
He also recognized that it had been handmade by several residents of the Forlanini quarter: “It’s a reminder that the Christian priest is chosen from among the people and at the service of the people. My priesthood…is a gift from Christ, but it is ‘woven’ by you, by our people with their faith, labours, prayers, and tears.”
Pope Francis then said the statuette of Our Lady is a sign of his being welcomed to Milan by the Madonna.
“It reminds me of Mary’s care, who ran to meet Elizabeth. This is the care and concern of the Church, which does not remain in the city centre waiting but comes to meet all at the peripheries; she goes also to meet non-Christians and non-believers…; and she brings Jesus to all, he who is the love of God made flesh and gives meaning to our lives and saves us from evil.”
Afterwards, the Holy Father made his way to Milan’s Duomo Cathedral to meet with priests and consecrated men and women.
For the curious pilgrim or tourist a trip to Milan is not complete without a visit the “Duomo” or Cathedral Church. And it was here in front of this iconic building that Pope Francis recited the Angelus on Saturday greeted by thousands of well- wishers.
A short time earlier inside this magnificent building, the Pope met with priests and consecrated persons, listening to their questions and offering words of advice. During the question and answer session the Holy Father said that in a world that is multicultural, multi-religious, and multi-ethnic, the Church, over its entire history, has had much to teach us and to help us towards a culture of diversity. The Holy Spirit, Pope Francis noted “is the master of diversity.” The Pope also underlined the importance of prayer and of service in the church; service by priests, religious and consecrated to the poor and to the Word of God.
Responding to a question from a religious mother who asked how it was possible to continue to be a significant presence today despite being fewer and older, the Pope said, that it was most important not to become resigned to one’s fate. He said that realities today were a challenge, but religious orders who were in the minority were being invited to rise again like yeast with the help of the Holy Spirit, who also inspired the hearts of their founders.
This one day pastoral visit began on Saturday morning with the Holy Father’s going out to Milan’s peripheries to meet with Rom, Islamic, and immigrant families of the ‘White Houses’ in the Forlanini quarter of the city. Greeting the crowds of people that had gathered to see him, he told them that the Church “always needs to be restored” because he added, it is made by us, who are sinners.” Let us be restored, he said by God’s mercy.