Pope: ‘politics is a commitment to humanity and holiness’

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Pope Francis on Friday pointed to the figure of the Venerable Giorgio La Pira as a model for Italian and international statesmen in their duty to work for the common good.

By Linda Bordoni

“At a time when the complexity of Italian and international political life requires statesmen of substantial human and Christian” value in the service of common good, Pope Francis held up the figure of the Venerable Giorgio La Pira saying he is an exemplary model for the Church and for the contemporary world.

The Pope was addressing some 200 members of the “Giorgio La Pira Foundation” whom he received in the Vatican.

The Venerable Giorgio La Pira

Giorgio La Pira, whose cause for beatification was approved by Pope Francis this year, was a committed Catholic MP in the years after World War II and then mayor of Florence until 1966. He was known well beyond the Florentine borders for his evangelical inspired social battles and for promoting peace events.

St. Pope John Paul II recalled La Pira several times pointing out his “extraordinary experience as a politician and a believer, capable of uniting contemplation and prayer to social and administrative activity, with a preference for the poor and the suffering”.

In his speech, Pope Francis described La Pira as “an enthusiastic witness to the Gospel and a prophet of modern times” saying that his attitudes were always inspired by a Christian perspective, while his action was often ahead of his time.

He mentioned his long career in the public space, of how he gave life to charitable works, and of how, when persecuted by the fascist regime he took refuge in the Vatican before being able to join the Constituent Assembly and to contribute to the drafting of the Italian Constitution.

“But his mission in the service of the common good found its summit in the period when he was mayor of Florence, in the fifties” the Pope said, when “La Pira took a political line open to the needs of social Catholicism and always on the side of the last and most fragile sections of the population.”

He also upheld La Pira’s work to promote social and international peace, with diplomatic activity, international conferences, a strong stance against nuclear war and the war in Vietnam.

Prophets of peace and workers for the common good

He encouraged those present to “keep alive and to spread the patrimony of ecclesial and social action of Venerable Giorgio La Pira; in particular his integral witness of faith, his love for the poor and marginalized, his work for peace, the implementation of the social message of the Church and his great fidelity to Catholic guidelines”.

“These are all elements which constitute a valid message for the Church and society today” he said.

Example for those who work in public sector

Pope Francis noted that La Pira’s example “is especially valuable for those who work in the public sector” and are called to be vigilant towards those negative situations that undermine the common good and the dignity of the person.

Quoting Giorgio La Pira who said ‘Politics is a commitment to humanity and holiness’, the Pope underscored this concept saying politics is “therefore a demanding way of service and responsibility for the lay faithful, called to animate temporal realities in a Christian way, as the Second Vatican Council teaches”.

He urged those present to treasure the legacy of La Pira and to “be peacemakers, architects of justice, witnesses of solidarity and charity”.

Speaking off-the-cuff the Pope concluded his discourse with an encouragement to be bringers of a “new spring” by being prophets of hope and of holiness, and by never being afraid to soil one’s hands to work and go forward.

“Swallows, he said, are needed today: you are swallows!”

Diocese begins to tweet!

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Title

Today we celebrate the Presentation of Mary.

Today the #DioceseofGibraltar tweets for the first time! 

You can find us at :

We commend this new project to our Blessed Mother and ask her to help us spread the Good News of Jesus Christ to all.

Sub tuum praesidium

confugimus,

Sancta Dei Genetrix.

Nostras deprecationes ne despicias

in necessitatibus nostris,

sed a periculis cunctis

libera nos semper,

Virgo gloriosa et benedicta. Ameni

(3rd Century prayer, recommended to us by Pope Francis)

November: All Souls

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NOVEMBER is traditionally the month when Catholics everywhere remember those who have gone to God.

NOVEMBER is traditionally the month when Catholics everywhere remember those who have gone to God.

Our Faith teaches that through their lifetime journey, every person has a moral freedom to choose, with three possible ultimate outcomes:

we attain beatitude, which expresses the joy and peace of being eternally with God in Heaven;

that journey had not completely resulted, at the time of their departure from this life, in the total conversion and renewal of the person and so, by an act of sheer Divine compassion, they are held in God’s love and ‘purified’ of their defects, so as to enter eventually into Heaven, where no imperfection can coexist;

  • or, they freely and willingly, as witnessed by their moral actions on earth, reject God and are therefore destined for Hell. God accepts that this is their sovereign decision and so, Hell is where those who wish to have no relationship, nothing to do with God, will go. For the damned, there is no possible alternative afterwards. It is an eternal state.

 

We all choose one of these outcome through our way of life. You can read more in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, particularly paragraphs 1020-1060.

 

Holy Souls in Purgatory

The Church has always taught us to pray for those who have gone to eternity. Even in the late Old Testament book of Maccabees (2 Maccabees 12:38-46), prayers and alms were offered for the souls of the dead by those who thought “well and religiously concerning the resurrection.” It was believed that “they who had fallen asleep with godliness had great grace laid up for them” and that “it is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.” We know that a defiled soul cannot enter into Heaven. We are all in need of grace to come into the perfection of charity. We cannot enter Heaven if we have not been completely cleansed of sin and all punishment due to sin, c.f. Catechism of the Catholic Church 1031 and 1472.

 

Purgatory is not eternal. Its duration depends upon the particular judgment each have received from Christ. By Divine Mercy, they have not merited hell, because in their lives, they honoured God and developed their relationship with him, despite any limitations and failures. It is difficult to speak in terms of earthly time, since Purgatory is a temporary state, not a place as such. It is therefore not bound by space and time in the same way we are, but it is connected; and certainly it is connected with the definitive Second Coming of the Son of Man at the end of time, when Purgatory will also cease to exist.

 

 

The Church has always taught that we can pray for the dead and assist them in their purification. We can shorten therefore their time in Purgatory, because our prayers of love supplicate for them before the Mercy of God. The most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is THE WAY to help the dead in Purgatory, because it is the Altar of hope and consolation for us all. That is why it is a most honourable act of charity to have a Priest offer a Mass for the Dead, or as an intention for a given Mass offered for a dearly departed person. Please be aware that sometimes people confuse offering a Mass themselves in person, as in going specially to one for someone or having in mind some intention of our own, and the actual application of the Mass by the Priest for the specific intention requested as he does so in persona Christi.

The ancient practice of Indulgences is also to be recommended for the Faithful Departed. You can read more on this in the Catechism, paragraphs 1471 to 1479.

 

 

Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord, and

let perpetual light shine upon them.

May the souls of the faithful departed,

through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

Amen.