Pope Visits Church of Secular Franciscan Patroness and Calls for Charity in the Church

Catholic News Agency and Vatican News reported that, on April 29, Pope Francis visited the church in Hungary dedicated to Elizabeth of Hungary, patroness of the Secular Franciscan Order. During his visit, Pope Francis stated, “We need a church that is fluent in the language of charity, that universal language which everyone can hear and understand, even those farthest from us, even those who are not believers.” He also stated, “”It is not enough to provide bread to fill stomachs; we need to fill people’s hearts,” and “”Charity is much more than material and social assistance. It has to do with the whole person; it strives to put people back on their feet with the love of Jesus: a love that helps them to recover their beauty and their dignity.” Pope Francis explained, “”Engaging in charity means having the courage to look into the other person’s eyes — it’s not charity when you look the other way. To engage in charity, you must have the courage to touch the person.” In a meeting at the Blessed László Batthyány-Strattmann Institute which was also part of the visit, Pope Francis responded to the Prayer of St. Francis saying that it is “pure Gospel” because it looks at reality, sees what is missing and asks God to give the believer the strength to make a difference. Video highlights of the visit can be viewed at Vatican News. (photo: Remo Casilli, 2023)

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