The Vatican

Jesus walks beside us, encourages Pope "happy" to travel to Mongolia

At the Angelus this Sunday, the Holy Father asked for prayers for his apostolic journey to the heart of Asia, to Mongolia, which begins on the 31st. He also said that "Christ is not a memory of the past, but the God of the present. Jesus is alive and accompanies us, he is at our side, he offers us his Word and his grace, which enlighten and comfort us on our journey, the Pope encouraged on the feast of St. Monica, mother of St. Augustine.

Francisco Otamendi-August 27, 2023-Reading time: 2 minutes
pope francisco angelus

Photo: The Pope during the Angelus.

The Roman Pontiff said this morning at the Angelus in St. Peter's Square that he is "happy" to travel to the heart of Asia on the 31st, on "a long-awaited visit" to Mongolia, "a Church very small in number but great in charity," he said.

It is a trip in an "interreligious context," added the Pope, who is coming to the Mongolian state "as a brother to all". He also thanked all those who are participating in the preparations for the trip.

During his visitPope Francis will meet with civil authorities, clergy, consecrated persons and workers in charitable institutions. The program of the trip also includes an ecumenical meeting. 

Mongolia has about three and a half million inhabitants with 1,500 baptized local Catholics gathered in eight parishes and one chapel, spread over a vast territory of more than 1.5 million square kilometers. It is a small but very lively community, the official Vatican agency reported in a interview with Cardinal Giorgio MarengoThe Apostolic Prefect of Ulaanbaatar, capital of the East Asian country, said that the Pope's visit is "a special grace and a great honor, an immense gift".

"We are not alone."

Before the prayer of the Marian Adoration at the AngelusCommenting on the Gospel in which Jesus asks the disciples "Who do people say is the Son of Man?", the Pope stressed that "on the journey of life we are not alone, because Christ is with us and helps us to walk, as he did with Peter and the other disciples". 

"Precisely Peter, in today's Gospel, understands this and by grace recognizes in Jesus 'the Son of the living God,'" the Pope pointed out. "He is not a figure of the past, he is not a deceased hero, but the Son of the living God, made man and come to share the joys and labors of our journey!

"Let us not be discouraged, therefore, if at times the summit of the Christian life seems too high and the road too steep," the Pope encouraged. "Let us look to Jesus, who walks beside us, who welcomes our frailties, shares our efforts and rests on our weak shoulders his firm and gentle arm. With him close to us, let us also reach out to one another and renew our trust: with Jesus, what seems impossible alone is no longer so!"

Finally, the Pope asked, "For me, who is Jesus? A great personage, a point of reference, an unattainable model? Or the Son of God, who walks beside me, who can lead me to the summit of holiness, there where alone I am not able to reach? Is Jesus really alive in my life, is He my Lord? Do I entrust myself to Him in moments of difficulty? Do I cultivate His presence through the Word and the Sacraments? Do I allow myself to be guided by Him, together with my brothers and sisters, in community?"

The Pope remembered those affected by the fires in Greece and again raised a prayer for the suffering of the Ukrainian people and made mention of St. Monica, whose feast the Church celebrates and wanted to pray "for so many mothers who suffer when a child is a little lost in the streets of life".

"May Mary, Mother of the Way, help us to feel her Son alive and present with us," concluded the Holy Father, before praying the Angelus with the faithful in St. Peter's Square.

The authorFrancisco Otamendi

La Brújula Newsletter Leave us your email and receive every week the latest news curated with a catholic point of view.