Meeting in the Vatican with members of the Pro Petri Sede Association, Pope Francis thanks them for their generous support to the Successor of Peter and the Holy See, saying this generosity is even more urgent today as the world faces war, poverty and exclusion.
By Lisa Zengarini
Pope Francis on Friday received representatives of the Pro Petri Sede (For the See of Peter), on the occasion of their biennial pilgrimage to Rome.
The Association, which was founded in the late 19th century and is active in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, collects funds for social and charitable works linked to the Pope’s pastoral mission and to the activities of the Holy See.
Addressing some 75 members of the Association in the Clementine Hall, Pope Francis thanked them for their ongoing financial and spiritual support to the Successor of Peter, witnessing to “the generosity and charity” that animated the hearts of their predecessors.
Lent calls us to convert from the slavery of selfishness to the freedom to love
The Pope remarked that “the call to give oneself out of love for our brothers and sisters is all the more urgent today”, with millions of people across the world suffering from war, violence, exclusion, material and spiritual poverty.
He further noted that their pilgrimage significantly coincides with the beginning of Lent, which, he said is “a favorable time which calls us to convert from the slavery of selfishness to the freedom to love and serve God and our brothers and sisters”.
Everything we possess is a gift from God
Pope Francis compared their generosity to the solidarity of the first Christians among themselves towards the community in the early Church. “They were capable of putting everything in common to support the most fragile brothers and sisters” and understood that they were the temporary administrators of the goods” entrusted to them, he noted.
“Everything we possess is a gift from God and we must allow ourselves to be enlightened by Him in managing the goods we received. His Spirit, a source of generosity, will always encourage us to give to those in need, to fight poverty with what He gives us. Because the Lord gives us iabundantly so that in turn we can give ourselves.”
Bringing his address to a close, Pope Francis urged “to put in practice the call to do good towards everyone, taking the time to love the least and most defenceless among us, those abandoned and despised, who are discriminated against and marginalized”.
He then entrusted the members of the Pro Petri Sede to the intercession of the Virgin Mary and to Saint Peter.