The Vatican

On the eve of the Immaculate Conception, Pope invokes the Holy Spirit

In his catechesis today, Pope Francis encouraged us to invoke the Holy Spirit every day, so that he may be "the breath of our proclamation, the source of our apostolic zeal". He also encouraged us to learn from Mary's "yes", very close to the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, and prayed for the people of Ukraine, Israel and Palestine.

Francisco Otamendi-December 6, 2023-Reading time: 3 minutes
pope audience

In a Paul VI Hall at the Vatican filled with many pilgrims from Italy and other countries, the Pope focused his catechesis of the day on the Audience Wednesday, the feast day of St. Nicholason the theme "The proclamation is in the Holy Spirit". 

Francis said he felt "better", but let his words be read, except for the first few words, standing up, and the last ones in Italian, which he said himself. 

These were to not forget to "pray for all those who suffer the tragedy of war, especially for the peoples of Ukraine, Israel y Palestine". These, as he usually does, with the addition that "war is always a defeat" and "nobody wins, everybody loses, only the arms manufacturers win".

The Church announces the "Gift" of the Holy Spirit

"We have seen in the previous catecheses three characteristics of the proclamation of the Gospel: it is

joy, for everyone and for today. On this occasion, we reflect on one last aspect: the

The protagonist of the proclamation is the Holy Spirit," the Holy Father began his meditation.

"Without the Holy Spirit, apostolic zeal would be in vain, it would become ours alone and would not bear true fruit. The Church does not proclaim herself, but she proclaims a grace, a gift, precisely the 'Gift of God', with capital letters, which is his very Spirit," he added.

Mission with creativity and simplicity

The Pope stressed that the Holy Spirit "inspires mission with creativity and simplicity; two distinctive features that we too are called to live. First of all, pastoral creativity, to proclaim Jesus in every circumstance and always seek new evangelizing paths that go out to meet the men and women of our time".

"And also simplicity, so that, enlightened by the Holy Spirit, we may know how to return to the sources of the first proclamation and transmit the essentials of our faith, with freshness and enthusiasm."

"It is the fire of the Spirit that makes us believe in Jesus Christ, who with his death and resurrection reveals and communicates to us the infinite mercy of the Father," he added. 

"Come, Holy Spirit."

"Brothers and sisters," the Pontiff encouraged, "let us allow ourselves to be captivated by the Holy Spirit and let us invoke him every day: let him be the beginning of our being and of our action; let him be the beginning of every activity, meeting, gathering and proclamation. He enlivens and rejuvenates the Church: with Him we need not fear, because He, who is harmony, always keeps creativity and simplicity together, stirs up communion and sends out on mission, opens to diversity and leads back to unity. He is our strength, the breath of our proclamation, the source of apostolic zeal. Come, Holy Spirit!".

"Maria responded with her yes."

In its summaryThe Pope said: "Let us ask the Holy Spirit, through the intercession of our Immaculate Mother - whose Solemnity we celebrate next Friday - to precede and accompany us in each of our apostolates and to renew our apostolic zeal, granting us pastoral creativity and evangelical simplicity. May Jesus bless you and the Holy Virgin watch over you".

In his words to the pilgrims of different languages, the Pope recalled the Virgin Mary. "We are approaching the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. Mary "believed in the love of God and responded with her 'yes'. Learn from her the full trust in the Lord to bear witness everywhere to the goodness and love of the Gospel".

To the Polish-speaking faithful, Pope Francis expressed his special greetings to the artists participating in the concert "Psalms of Peace and Thanksgiving", commemorating the beatification of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Ulma family

He also mentioned that "this Sunday will be celebrated in Poland the Day of prayer and material aid to the Church in the East. I thank all those who support the Church in those territories with their prayers and offerings, especially in the tormented Ukraine. I bless you from my heart".

St. Nicholas, seminary formators, English-speaking families

In his greeting to the Italian-speaking pilgrims, the Pope gave "a cordial welcome to the seminary formators participating in the course promoted by the Dicastery for Evangelization. Dear priests, may you be accompanied by the Lord's constant assistance, so that these days of study may enliven your service to the Church".

"Dear brothers and sisters, today is the memorial of St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra. Firmly professing his faith in Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, he always worked for the most vulnerable in society. Let us follow his example in order to live well this time of Advent"The Holy Father said to the German-speaking pilgrims.

The Pope also welcomed "all the English-speaking pilgrims, especially the groups from Malta, Australia, Malaysia, Japan, Indonesia and the United States of America. Upon all of you and your families, I invoke the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. May God bless you.

Mexicans, support for Acapulco victims

Before praying the Our Father and giving the Blessing to the pilgrims, the Pontiff remembered the victims of the recent hurricane and asked for support. "I greet the members of the Telethon Foundation of Mexico. Dear Mexicans, I invite you to collaborate for the victims of Acapulco; I invite you to include all persons with disabilities in Mexico. Let us fight against the society of waste, let us defend the dignity of each person," he encouraged.

The authorFrancisco Otamendi

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