PrintSo I decided to celebrate my recent birthday by making a low-carb pizza and by launching a line of ebooks.

The new ebooks are designed to be read quickly, in just a few minutes, and the first one is already up on Amazon.

It’s called Justification by Faith and Works? What the Catholic Church Really Teaches.

It will prove to be an eye-opener for anyone who repeats the standard claim that Catholics believe in justification “by faith and works.”

As always, I use Scripture and official Church documents–including what Pope Benedict XVI had to say on this subject (his answer may surprise you!).

At just $2.99, the new ebook gives you a quick but thorough look at a hot-button issue in apologetics, grounded in the Church’s official teachings.

Thanks for checking it out! If you like it, I hope you’ll leave a positive review!

Here’s the link to get it . . .

Click here to download Justification by Faith and Works? What the Catholic Church Really Teaches.

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francis-readingThis version of The Weekly Francis covers material released in the last week from From 26 July 2016 to 17 August 2016.

Angelus

General Audiences

Messages

Speeches

Papal Tweets

  • “In Confession we encounter the merciful embrace of the Father. His love always forgives.” @Pontifex 12 August 2016
  • “May people see the Gospel in our lives: in our generous and faithful love for Christ and our brothers and sisters.” @Pontifex 13 August 2016
  • “We ask Mary, our Mother, to help us to pray with a humble heart.” @Pontifex 14 August 2016
  • “I entrust you to the maternal care of our Mother who lives in the glory of God and is always by our side on our life’s journey.” @Pontifex 15 August 2016
  • “Through the cross we can touch God’s mercy and be touched by that mercy!” @Pontifex 17 August 2016

Papal Instagram

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friendly-dragonThe recent remake of the movie Pete’s Dragon has prompted some discussion on the Internet of whether it is ever permissible, from a Christian point of view, to depict dragons as friendly, which happens in the movie.

Some, pointing to comments made by novelist Michael O’Brien in his book A Landscape with Dragons, have answered that they should not be.

Here are 10 things to know and share . . .

 

1) No Church teaching

Regardless of what one thinks about friendly dragons, it’s worth bearing in mind that there is no Church teaching on this subject.

You’re not going to find a papal or conciliar document that says, “Dragons may never be depicted as friendly.”

The matter is thus one of opinion, and Catholics can have a legitimate diversity of opinion on the matter.

Having said that, here are my thoughts . . .

 

2) The purpose of play

A few years ago I did a video on whether scary Halloween costumes are okay, and in it I discussed the basic purpose of play and the instinct toward play that God built into human nature.

You can watch the video here:

(Link to video in case you’re reading by email)

The short answer is that God designed our species—and others—to enjoy play which involves simulated danger. The purpose of this is to prepare us to face real (non-simulated) danger.

That’s why kittens and puppies “play fight”—to prepare them for the actual fights they’ll have to deal with as adult dogs and cats.

In the same way, humans—both children and adults—enjoy various forms of play (including stories and sports) where there is a form of simulated danger. By facing our fears in situations where the danger isn’t real, we are better prepared to face our fears in situations where the danger is real.

To get us to engage in these simulations, we have to find them fun, and so God has arranged it so that we enjoy games and sports and stories and rollercoasters and numerous other kinds of simulated danger (provided the situation doesn’t get out of hand and the danger doesn’t become real).

 

3) The origin of monsters

This impulse to play is the origin of all fiction, and it is the reason that monsters are found in the folklore of every people.

Stories and legends about monsters allow us to mentally enter situations of simulated danger, facing fearsome creatures much more powerful than we are—whether they are dragons, gorgons, giant spiders, werewolves, alien invaders, or what have you.

 

4) Two types of dramatic choices

When we tell a story, we must make dramatic choices, and there are two basic types of dramatic choices:

  1. Play to expectations
  2. Throw in a twist (i.e., something unexpected)

Most of the time, storytellers play to expectations. Readers want much of what happens in a story to feel familiar. But they don’t want everything to be predictable, so they also want twists.

Good storytellers find the right balance of playing to their audience’s expectations and then throwing in twists to surprise and intrigue the audience.

Meeting the audience’s expectations is the rule and twists are the exception. Otherwise the narrative risks disintegrating under the weight of too many twists—or the audience will simply develop a new set of expectations.

 

5) Two types of monsters

If you combine the previous two insights, it leads to two different ways of presenting monsters in stories:

  1. What the audience expects—i.e., the monster is bad
  2. The audience gets a twist—i.e., the monster actually isn’t bad

Most of the time, storytellers choose the first option, but there is nothing in principle wrong with the twist of a friendly monster.

Indeed, sometimes such tales can even teach valuable lessons, as with the story of Androcles and the Lion.

Friendly monster stories are the mirror image of another standard plot: betrayal—where, someone the protagonist was counting on (a friend, an ally, a spouse) turns out to be untrustworthy despite initial appearances.

Betrayals happen in real life. Sometimes people very close to us stab us in the back, and experiencing stories about that can help prepare us for when it happens to us for reals.

In the same way, sometimes things we perceive as alarming threats in real life (corresponding to the monsters in stories) can turn out to be no big deal—or even beneficial.

Every child has this experience multiple times growing up: They irrationally fear things which actually are no threat at all and may even be helpful.

Even as adults we sometimes fear things in situations that turn out to involve needless worry.

It’s a huge relief when we—as children or adults—discover that we don’t need to be afraid of something that formerly terrified us.

And it’s a relief for an audience to experience the same thing in story form when the characters make the same discovery.

There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with telling a story about a perceived danger that turns out not to be a problem—any more than there is telling a story about an ally who betrays the main character.

They are both legitimate story types.

 

6) So what about dragons?

If it’s okay in principle to tell stories about perceived threats that turn out not to be dangerous after all (e.g., friendly monsters) then it would seem appropriate to tell stories about friendly dragons as well.

Dragons are just a subcase of monsters, and if friendly monsters are okay as a twist on a standard then friendly dragons are okay, too.

To argue against this, one would need to argue that dragons are somehow different from other monsters—that there is a special reason why dragons in particular shouldn’t be treated this way in fiction.

 

7) What might that reason be?

In his book, O’Brien does not state his argument as clearly as I would wish. However, he seems to advance two considerations for why dragons might be exceptions to the above rule:

  1. Dragons appear in the folklore of numerous cultures, suggesting some kind of mystical imprint on human nature (or something; this is where I find O’Brien particularly unclear)
  2. The image of the dragon is linked with Satan in Scripture

What can we make of these?

 

8) The culture argument

It’s true that dragons appear in the folklore of numerous cultures. What is in question is whether this has intrinsic mystical significance.

In his book, O’Brien writes:

Some modern mythologists lamely attempt to explain dragons as an inheritance from the age of dinosaurs, a kind of fossil-memory lingering on in the subconscious.

O’Brien is correct. The claim that dragons are based on an inherited race memory from the mammals that lived in dinosaur times is lame.

That’s not the way evolution works. Once a threat disappears, any genetic predisposition to fear it is gradually lost due to the absence of selection pressure on the relevant genes. The idea that humans would have inherited a genetic fear of dinosaurs after sixty million years is nonsense.

But that doesn’t mean dragon folklore isn’t based on dinosaurs.

The truth is that there are a large number of dinosaur bones buried in the earth and the forces of wind and water periodically uncover them.

We have records of the ancients finding such bones and discussing the giant, extinct creatures that must have once existed.

For example, in The City of God, St. Augustine reports that he and some friends were on the beach of the Gulf of Tunis when they found a tooth a hundred times larger than a human molar, and he concluded it must have belonged to some ancient giant.

At times, a cliff face would shear away, exposing an entire dinosaur skeleton to public view.

Scholars have written books on this subject (such as this one, this one, and this one), and the impact that such discoveries had on ancient folklore and mythology.

Thus one need not postulate a mystical (or whatever) imprint of dragon imagery on the human soul to explain the widespread appearance of dragons in folklore. The periodic discovery of dinosaur bones is enough.

The culture argument is thus inconclusive at best. But what about . . .

 

9) The Scripture argument

It’s true that Scripture does explicitly use the image of a dragon in connection with Satan.

Once.

It’s the book of Revelation, where John sees a dragon that is then identified as “that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world” (Rev. 12:9).

So, fine. Revelation uses the image of a dragon for Satan. That’s too slender a reed on which to claim that the image of a dragon can never be used any other way.

Indeed, unless you are prepared to say that every dragon that appears in fiction must be Satan himself then one must be willing to say that the image of a dragon can be used in other ways.

To paraphrase Sigmund Freud: Sometimes a dragon is just a dragon.

Worse, Scripture sometimes uses the image of a dragon in a positive sense.

 

10) Mordecai the Friendly Dragon

In the book of Esther, Mordecai has a prophetic vision in the form of a dream. In this dream:

And behold, two great dragons came forward, both ready to fight, and they roared terribly (Esth. 11:6).

So, like John in Revelation, Mordecai has a vision involving great and terrible dragon imagery—only in his vision there are two dragons.

Elsewhere, Mordecai gives us the interpretation of this symbol:

The two dragons are Haman and myself (Esth. 10:7).

Got that? One of the fearsome dragons represents the villain Haman but the other represents the righteous Mordecai, the defender of God’s people.

It also happens that these verses are found in the deuterocanonical passages of Esther, which means that their canonical source is the Greek text of the Septuagint.

When one checks this, one discovers that the word used for “dragon” in this case is the Greek term drakon—the exact same word John uses for “dragon” in the book of Revelation.

It thus seems, in view of Scripture’s own usage, that dragons can be depicted as friendly, powerful allies and not simply as manifestations of evil.

 

Looking for Something Good to Read?

May I suggest my commentary on the Gospel of Mark?

It goes through the whole text and provides fascinating information that you may have never heard before.

It also comes with a verse-by-verse study guide with questions that you or your study group can use.

And it comes with a lectionary-based study guide, so you can read along with Mark in the liturgy and ponder its meaning before or after Mass.

Right now, this commentary is available exclusively on Verbum Catholic software.

Verbum is an incredibly powerful study tool that I use every day, and I heartily recommend it to others.

I can also save you 10% when you get the commentary or one of the bundles of Verbum software. Just use the code JIMMY1 at checkout.

CLICK HERE TO GET JIMMY AKIN’S STUDIES ON MARK.

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A nice explanation of one of the biggest problems affecting modern science . . .

Link to video if you’re reading by email.

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Sixtus_of_SienaThe deuterocanonical books of the Bible are those books in the Old Testament which are not found in the canon of modern, rabbinic Jews and Protestants. In Protestant circles, they are frequently referred to as “the apocrypha.”

“Apocrypha” means “hidden things,” and that’s a misnomer, because these books aren’t and never have been hidden. They were part of Christian Scriptures from the very beginning.

The term “deuterocanonicals” is also a misnomer, because its roots suggest these books belong to the “second canon,” and there is no second canon.

Alternately, one might parse it to mean that they were included in the canon secondarily–i.e., after other books–but this is also false. The canon lists of the early church councils in the fourth and fifth centuries–the first time the canon was dealt with by councils–include the deuterocanonical books alongside the protocanonical ones.

So, although it’s the term we’re stuck with, “deuterocanonicals” is itself problematic.

Today I did some research and was finally able to find out who coined the term: Sixtus of Siena.

You can read about him on Wikipedia here.

Based on information in the Oxford English Dictionary, it looks like the term was coined in or around 1566 in Sixtus’s work Bibliotheca sancta ex præcipuis Catholicæ Ecclesiæ auctoribus collecta (i.e., Sacred library collected from the precepts of the authorities of the Catholic Church).

The OED lists the following its first historical example of the term:

[1566   A. F. Sixtus Senensis Bibliotheca Sancta i. 10   Canonici secundi ordinis (qui olim Ecclesiastici uocabantur, & nunc à nobis Deuterocanonici dicuntur) illi sunt, de quibus, quia non statim sub ipsis Apostolorum temporibus, sed longè pòst ad notitiam totius Ecclesiæ peruenerunt, inter Catholicos fuit aliquando sententia anceps.]

While one must give the usual caveats about Wikipedia, it’s worth noting that it states:

Sixtus coined the term deuterocanonical to describe certain books of the Old Testament that had not been accepted as canonical but which appeared in the Septuagint, and the definer for the Roman Catholics of the terms protocanonical and the ancient term apocryphal.

I’d like to find a scholarly, non-Wikipedia source for these, but it does seem to jibe with the data from the OED.

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easter-eggsI grew up and went to college in Arkansas, where the chicken industry is big.

I remember sitting in a college biology class where the professor was explaining how selective breeding (this was in the days before gene editing) had improved the industrial usefulness of chickens.

The example I remember him citing was how, through selective breeding, the food-to-meat ratio of commercial breeds of chickens had been altered, so you now got more meat per pound of chicken feed that you fed the chicken.

(I made mental notes for a future science fiction story involving selective breeding of humans, though I haven’t gotten around to writing that one.)

And an improved food-to-meat ratio was only one characteristic of chickens that selective breeding had made possible.

 

There’s another that is directly related to why we have Easter eggs.

I’ve pointed out for a long time that chickens don’t stop laying just because it’s Lent, and so if–as in the olden days–people were abstaining not just from meat but from eggs as well then by the end of Lent you’re going to have a lot of eggs you need to use up.

The logical thing to do is celebrate the Resurrection (and the ability to eat eggs again) by having an egg party, perhaps by coloring the little things to make them more festive. Hence: Easter eggs.

All that’s true, but today I was reading an article on how refrigeration was controversial when it was first introduced (believe it or not), and the article mentioned a fact about pre-selectively-bred chickens that I hadn’t known:

To illustrate the importance of refrigeration for eggs, Friedberg notes that they used to be a seasonal food. Before modern breeds were developed, hens laid most of their eggs in the spring. That meant that fresh eggs were unavailable or very expensive for most of the year (SOURCE: Livia Gershon, “When Refrigeration Was Controversial,” JSTOR Daily, August 14, 2016).

Got that?

Not only would the hens not stop laying for Lent, Lent was the only time they would lay (“Lent” being the Old English word for spring).

Therefore, if you were a Christian and abstaining from eggs for Lent, you’d miss the lion’s share of your only chance of the year to have them unless you used up all those eggs that were laid during Lent.

One more reason for Easter eggs!

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assumptionAugust 15 is the solemnity of the Assumption of Mary.

In the United States, it is a holy day of obligation.

What is the Assumption of Mary, how did it come to be defined, and what relevance does it have for our lives?

Here are 12 things to know and share . . .

 

1) What is the Assumption of Mary?

The Assumption of Mary is the teaching that:

The Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory [Pius XII, Munificentissimus Deus 44].

 

2) What level of authority does this teaching have?

This teaching was infallibly defined by Pope Pius XII on November 1, 1950 in the bull Munificentissimus Deus (Latin, “Most Bountiful God”).

As Pius XII explained, this is “a divinely revealed dogma” (ibid.).

This means that it is a dogma in the proper sense. It is thus a matter of faith that has been divinely revealed by God and that has been infallibly proposed by the Magisterium of the Church as such.

 

3) Does that mean it is an “ex cathedra” statement and that we have to believe it?

Yes. Since it is a dogma defined by the pope (rather than by an ecumenical council, for example), it is also an “ex cathedra” statement (one delivered “from the chair” of Peter).

Because it is infallibly defined, it calls for the definitive assent of the faithful.

Pope John Paul II explained:

The definition of the dogma, in conformity with the universal faith of the People of God, definitively excludes every doubt and calls for the express assent of all Christians [General Audience, July 2, 1997].

Note that all infallibly defined teachings are things we are obliged to believe, even if they aren’t defined “ex cathedra” (by the pope acting on his own).

The bishops of the world teaching in union with the pope (either in an ecumenical council or otherwise) can also infallibly define matters, but these aren’t called “ex cathedra” since that term refers specifically to the exercise of the pope’s authority as the successor of St. Peter. (It’s Peter’s cathedra or “chair” that symbolizes the pope’s authority.)

 

4) Does the dogma require us to believe that Mary died?

It is the common teaching that Mary did die. In his work, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Ludwig Ott lists this teaching as sententia communior (Latin, “the more common opinion”).

Although it is the common understanding of that Mary did die, and although her death is referred to in some of the sources Pius XII cited in Munificentissimus Deus, he deliberately refrained from defining this as a truth of the faith.

John Paul II noted:

On 1 November 1950, in defining the dogma of the Assumption, Pius XII avoided using the term “resurrection” and did not take a position on the question of the Blessed Virgin’s death as a truth of faith.

The Bull Munificentissimus Deus limits itself to affirming the elevation of Mary’s body to heavenly glory, declaring this truth a “divinely revealed dogma.”

 

5) Why should Mary die if she was free from Original Sin and its stain?

Being free of Original Sin and its stain is not the same thing as being in a glorified, deathless condition.

Jesus was also free of Original Sin and its stain, but he could—and did—die.

Expressing a common view among theologians, Ludwig Ott writes:

For Mary, death, in consequence of her freedom from original sin and from personal sin, was not a consequence of punishment of sin.

However, it seems fitting that Mary’s body, which was by nature mortal, should be, in conformity with that of her Divine Son, subject to the general law of death.

 

6) What are the earliest surviving references to Mary’s Assumption?

John Paul II noted:

The first trace of belief in the Virgin’s Assumption can be found in the apocryphal accounts entitled Transitus Mariae [Latin, “The Crossing Over of Mary”], whose origin dates to the second and third centuries.

These are popular and sometimes romanticized depictions, which in this case, however, pick up an intuition of faith on the part of God’s People.

 

7) How did the recognition of Mary’s Assumption develop in the East?

John Paul II noted:

There was a long period of growing reflection on Mary’s destiny in the next world.

This gradually led the faithful to believe in the glorious raising of the Mother of Jesus, in body and soul, and to the institution in the East of the liturgical feasts of the Dormition [“falling asleep”—i.e., death] and Assumption of Mary.

 

8) How did Pius XII prepare for the definition of the Assumption?

John Paul II noted:

In May 1946, with the Encyclical Deiparae Virginis Mariae, Pius XII called for a broad consultation, inquiring among the Bishops and, through them, among the clergy and the People of God as to the possibility and opportuneness of defining the bodily assumption of Mary as a dogma of faith.

The result was extremely positive: only six answers out of 1,181 showed any reservations about the revealed character of this truth.

 

9) What Scriptural basis is there for the teaching?

John Paul II noted:

Although the New Testament does not explicitly affirm Mary’s Assumption, it offers a basis for it because it strongly emphasized the Blessed Virgin’s perfect union with Jesus’ destiny.

This union, which is manifested, from the time of the Savior’s miraculous conception, in the Mother’s participation in her Son’s mission and especially in her association with his redemptive sacrifice, cannot fail to require a continuation after death.

Perfectly united with the life and saving work of Jesus, Mary shares his heavenly destiny in body and soul.

There are, thus, passages in Scripture that resonate with the Assumption, even though they do not spell it out.

 

10) What are some specific Old Testament passages?

Pope Pius XII pointed to several passages that have been legitimately used in a “rather free” manner to explain belief in the Assumption (meaning: these passages resonate with it in various ways, but they don’t provide explicit proof):

Often there are theologians and preachers who, following in the footsteps of the holy Fathers, have been rather free in their use of events and expressions taken from Sacred Scripture to explain their belief in the Assumption.

Thus, to mention only a few of the texts rather frequently cited in this fashion, some have employed the words of the psalmist:

“Arise, O Lord, into your resting place: you and the ark, which you have sanctified” (Ps. 131:8);

and have looked upon the Ark of the Covenant, built of incorruptible wood and placed in the Lord’s temple, as a type of the most pure body of the Virgin Mary, preserved and exempt from all the corruption of the tomb and raised up to such glory in heaven.

Treating of this subject, they also describe her as the Queen entering triumphantly into the royal halls of heaven and sitting at the right hand of the divine Redeemer(Ps. 44:10-14ff).

Likewise they mention the Spouse of the Canticles “that goes up by the desert, as a pillar of smoke of aromatical spices, of myrrh and frankincense” to be crowned (Song 3:6; cf. also 4:8, 6:9).

These are proposed as depicting that heavenly Queen and heavenly Spouse who has been lifted up to the courts of heaven with the divine Bridegroom [Munificentissimus Deus 26].

11) What are some specific New Testament passages?

Pius XII continued:

Moreover, the scholastic Doctors have recognized the Assumption of the Virgin Mother of God as something signified, not only in various figures of the Old Testament, but also in that woman clothed with the sun whom John the Apostle contemplated on the Island of Patmos (Rev. 12:1ff).

Similarly they have given special attention to these words of the New Testament: “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you, blessed are you among women”(Luke 1:28), since they saw, in the mystery of the Assumption, the fulfillment of that most perfect grace granted to the Blessed Virgin and the special blessing that countered the curse of Eve [Munificentissimus Deus 27].

 

12) How can we apply this teaching to our everyday lives?

According to Pope Benedict XVI:

By contemplating Mary in heavenly glory, we understand that the earth is not the definitive homeland for us either, and that if we live with our gaze fixed on eternal goods we will one day share in this same glory and the earth will become more beautiful.

Consequently, we must not lose our serenity and peace even amid the thousands of daily difficulties. The luminous sign of Our Lady taken up into Heaven shines out even more brightly when sad shadows of suffering and violence seem to loom on the horizon.

We may be sure of it: from on high, Mary follows our footsteps with gentle concern, dispels the gloom in moments of darkness and distress, reassures us with her motherly hand.

Supported by awareness of this, let us continue confidently on our path of Christian commitment wherever Providence may lead us. Let us forge ahead in our lives under Mary’s guidance [General Audience, August 16, 2006].

 
 

Looking for Something Good to Read?

May I suggest my commentary on the Gospel of Mark?

It goes through the whole text and provides fascinating information that you may have never heard before.

It also comes with a verse-by-verse study guide with questions that you or your study group can use.

And it comes with a lectionary-based study guide, so you can read along with Mark in the liturgy and ponder its meaning before or after Mass.

Right now, this commentary is available exclusively on Verbum Catholic software.

Verbum is an incredibly powerful study tool that I use every day, and I heartily recommend it to others.

I can also save you 10% when you get the commentary or one of the bundles of Verbum software. Just use the code JIMMY1 at checkout.

CLICK HERE TO GET JIMMY AKIN’S STUDIES ON MARK.

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popr-francis-teaching

This version of The Weekly Francis covers material released in the last week from 27 July 2016 to 10 August 2016.

General Audiences

Messages

Speeches

Papal Tweets

  • “God’s forgiveness knows no limits…God looks at the heart that seeks forgiveness. #Assisi #Porziuncola” @Pontifex 4 August 2016
  • “Good luck to the athletes at #Rio2016! May you always be messengers of goodwill and true sporting spirit.” @Pontifex 5 August 2016
  • “We oppose hatred and destruction with goodness. We live in societies of different cultures and religions, but we are brothers and sisters.” @Pontifex 7 August 2016
  • “When there is dialogue in the family, tensions are easily resolved.” @Pontifex 8 August 2016
  • “We ask for respect for indigenous peoples whose very identity and existence are threatened.” @Pontifex 9 August 2016
  • “A society made up of different cultures must seek unity in respect.” @Pontifex 10 August 2016

Papal Instagram

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Pope_Francis_3_on_papal_flight_from_Africa_to_Italy_Nov_30_2015_Credit_Martha_Calderon_CNA_11_30_15

This version of The Weekly Francis covers material released in the last week from 17 July 2016 to 2 August 2016.

Angelus

Homilies

Speeches

Papal Tweets

  • “Dear young people, I bless your journey towards Krakow: may it be a pilgrimage of faith and fraternity.
    #Krakow2016” @Pontifex 25 July 2016
  • “Dear young people, let us offer the world a mosaic of many races, cultures and peoples united in the name of Jesus!
    #Krakow2016” @Pontifex 25 July 2016
  • “Dear young people, stay united in prayer so that this WYD may be rich with spiritual fruits. See you tomorrow!
    #Krakow2016” @Pontifex 26 July 2016
  • “Let’s live WYD in Krakow together!
    #Krakow2016
    https://www.instagram.com/franciscus@Pontifex 27 July 2016
  • “The Lord is amongst us and takes care of us, without deciding for us.” @Pontifex 28 July 2016
  • “The Lord loves to participate in the events of our daily lives and to walk with us.” @Pontifex 28 July 2016
  • “A merciful heart has the courage to leave comforts behind and to encounter others, embracing everyone.” @Pontifex 28 July 2016
  • “Jesus Christ encourages us to lift up our eyes and to dream lofty dreams. During these days of the WYD, Jesus wants to enter our homes.” @Pontifex 28 July 2016
  • “How I wish that we, as Christians, could be close to the sick the same way Jesus was: in silence, with a caress and in prayer.” @Pontifex 29 July 2016
  • “Anyone who performs works of mercy is not afraid of death.” @Pontifex 29 July 2016
  • “Let us embrace the Cross. Jesus embraces the nakedness, hunger, thirst, loneliness, suffering and death of all men and women of all time.” @Pontifex 29 July 2016
  • “Dear young people, this evening the Lord renews His invitation to take the lead in serving others.” @Pontifex 29 July 2016
  • “”I desire mercy, not sacrifice”.
    Francis. 30/7/2016.
    Sanctuary of Divine Mercy.“ @Pontifex 30 July 2016
  • “Jesus wants truly consecrated hearts that live by His forgiveness and share it compassionately with their brothers and sisters.” @Pontifex 30 July 2016
  • “Jesus seeks hearts that are open and tender toward the weak; hearts that are not hard, but docile and transparent.” @Pontifex 30 July 2016
  • “We have come into the world in order to leave a mark.” @Pontifex 30 July 2016
  • “God is inviting you to dream: He wants to show you that you can make the world a different place.” @Pontifex 30 July 2016
  • “Jesus is calling you to leave your mark on life: one that transforms your own life and the lives of others.” @Pontifex 30 July 2016
  • “God love us as we are: no sin, fault or mistake can make Him change His mind.” @Pontifex 31 July 2016
  • “God counts on you for who you are, not for what you have. You are valuable in His eyes and your value is priceless.” @Pontifex 31 July 2016
  • “Jesus speaks to you every day. Let His Gospel become yours and let Him be your “navigator” on life’s journey!” @Pontifex 31 July 2016
  • “A huge “thank you”, dear young people! St John Paul II rejoiced in Heaven, and will help you bring the joy of the Gospel wherever you go.” @Pontifex 31 July 2016
  • “The secret to joy: never suppress positive curiosity; get involved, because life is meant to be lived.” @Pontifex 2 August 2016

Papal Instagram

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pope-francis2

This version of The Weekly Francis covers material released in the last week from 18 June 2016 to 19 July 2016.

Angelus

Letters

Messages

Motu Proprio

Speeches

Papal Tweets

  • “I pray for the victims of the attack in Nice and their families. I ask God to convert the hearts of the violent blinded by hate.” @Pontifex 15 July 2016
  • “Let us remember the elderly and the sick who in the summer months are often more alone and can be in difficulty.” @Pontifex 17 July 2016

Papal Instagram

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What is the Secret Information Club?I value your email privacy