Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Pope's Inauguration Mass: Protect and serve the poor, elderly

March 19, 2013. (Romereports.com) Rome was bright and sunny this morning as thousands of people made their way to St. Peter's Square to celebrate the Pope's Inauguration Mass. Doors opened at about 6: 30 am and by then many were ready to get a good spot.

The newly elected Pope passed through St. Peter's Square in the Popemobile, as people waved their flags and congratulated him. It was precisely during this journey that the Pope saw a disabled person among the thousands gathered there. He got out of the car, walked over and personally blessed him.

Along with cardinals and patriarchs, the Pope then prayed a few minutes in silence, before the tomb of St. Peter.

In the background the “Thou art Peter” song was being played as more than 150,000 people waited to celebrate Mass with the new Pope. Cardinal Deacon Jean Louis Tauran gave him the pallium, which is a religious stole with six red crosses.  Then Cardinal Angelo Sodano gave the Pope his Fisherman's ring, which is emblematic of each Papacy.

During the Homily, the Pope honored the works of John Paul II and Benedict XVI, whom he congratulated for his feast day of St. Joseph.

In his Homily the Pope said that the heart, the center of Catholicism is Christ. He then added that true power comes with service. He said St. Joseph is a perfect example of this. He looked over Mary, Jesus and the whole Church.

“In him, dear friends, we learn how to respond to God’s call, readily and willingly, but we also see the core of the Christian vocation, which is Christ! Let us protect Christ in our lives, so that we can protect others, so that we can protect creation!

Many heads of state attended the Mass. A total of 132 delegations from every corner of the world attended. The Pope called on them to respond to their public and social responsibilities.

“Please, I would like to ask all those who have positions of responsibility in economic, political and social life, and all men and women of goodwill: let us be "protectors" of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment.”

The Pope then added that one should not be afraid to combine firmness with kindness and tenderness. Once again he made a call to help those who need it most.

“Let us never forget that authentic power is service, and that the Pope too, when exercising power, must enter ever more fully into that service which has its radiant culmination on the Cross.”

Before concluding his Homily, the Pope once again asked that Our Lady help him during his pontificate. He also prayed to St. Francis of Assisi. Just like the day he was elected Pope, he asked for all Christians to pray for him.

With this ceremony, Pope Francis officially begins his pontificate as the first Latin American Pope of the Catholic Church.

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