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GENERAL AUDIENCE: On Accounting for Our Hope

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GENERAL AUDIENCE: On Accounting for Our Hope

This morning”€™s General Audience was held at 9:25 in St. Peter”€™s Square, where the Holy Father Francis met with groups of pilgrims and faithful from Italy and from all over the world.
In his address in Italian, the Pope focused his meditation on Christian hope — “€œaccount for the hope that is in you”€ (cf. 1 Peter. After summarizing his catechesis in several languages, the Holy Father expressed special greetings to groups of faithful present. Then he made two appeals, regarding the attack in St. Petersburg and the latest slaughter in Syria.MThe General Audience ended with the singing of the Pater Noster and the Apostolic Blessing.
Below is a working translation of the Holy Father’s words:
The Holy Father”€™s Catechesis.
Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning! The Apostle Peter”€™s First Letter bears in it an extraordinary charge! It is necessary to read it one, two, three times to understand this extraordinary charge! It is able to infuse great consolation and peace, making one perceive how the Lord is always at our side and never abandons us, especially in the most delicate and difficult situations of our life. But what is the “€œsecret”€ of this Letter, and, particularly, of the passage we just heard (cf. 1 Peter
3:8-17)? This is a question. I know that you will take the New Testament today, you will look for the First Letter of Peter and you will read it slowly, slowly, to understand the secret and force of this Letter. What is the secret of this Letter?

Dear friends, we also understand why the Apostle Peter calls us “€œblessed,”€ when we must suffer for justice (cf. V. 13). It is not only for a moral or ascetic reason, but it is because every time we take the side of the last and the marginalized, or that we do not respond to evil with evil, but by forgiving and blessing, every time we do this we shine as living and luminous signs of hope, thus becoming instruments of consolation and peace, according to God”€™s heart. An so we go forward with gentleness, meekness, being kind and doing good also to those who don”€™t love us, or who do us evil. Go on! In Italian A warm welcome goes to the Italian-speaking pilgrims. I greet the families of the military men fallen in international peace missions, accompanied by the Military Ordinary Monsignor Santo Marciano; the Rwandan community in Italy and the National Order of Doctors, Agronomists and Foresters.

I greet the participants in the congress promoted by the Pontifical Council of Culture, encouraging them to reflect on the future of humanity in the light of medical sciences and perennial moral values. I greet the Pope John XXIII Community and, while I exhort you to continue the work in favor of girls removed from prostitution, I invite Romans to take part in the Way of the Cross for crucified women, which will take place on Friday, April 7 at Garbatella. Finally, a particular thought goes to young people, the sick and newlyweds. Today we remember Saint Vincent Ferrer, Dominican preacher. Dear young people, at his school learn to talk with God and of God, avoiding useless and harmful talk; dear sick, learn from his spiritual experience to trust in Christ crucified in every circumstance; dear newlyweds, take recourse to his intercession to assume your parental mission with generous commitment.
The Holy Father”€™s Appeals My thought goes at this moment to the grave attacks in past days in the St. Petersburg metro, which has caused victims and loss in the population. While I entrust to God”€™s mercy all those who died tragically, I express my spiritual closeness to their families and to all those who are suffering due to this tragic event. We witness horrified the latest events in Syria. I express my firm censure for the unacceptable slaughter yesterday in the province of Idlib, where tens of vulnerable people were killed, among them many children. I pray for the victims and their families and I appeal to the conscience of all those who have political responsibility, at the local and international level, so that this tragedy ceases and relief is taken to that dear population for too long exhausted by war. I also encourage the efforts of those who, despite the insecurity and hardship, work to have help reach the inhabitants of that region.


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