Pope Francis' Sunday Angelus Message on June 23, 2013

On a hot sunny day in Rome, Pope Francis greeted thousands of pilgrims and tourists from the window of the Papal apartments above St Peter’s Square who had come to hear the recitation of the Sunday Angelus. Reflecting on Sunday’s Gospel the Pope recalled some of the most incisive words that Jesus spoke, “"Whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it". The Holy Father said that this phrase is really a summary of Christ’s message which almost makes us hear his voice.

Explaining the meaning of Jesus’ words Pope Francis said that the martyrs offer the best example of losing one's life for Christ. Both in the past and today, he continued, in many parts of the world, there are martyrs both men and women who are imprisoned, or killed for the sole reason of being Christian. 

But the Pope also noted that there is also the daily martyrdom, which do not result in death but is also as he put it, a "loss of life" for Christ, people doing their duty with love, according to the logic of Jesus. These people the Holy Father said are the fathers and mothers who every day put into practice their faith by devoting their lives for the good of the family. 

Pope Francis also recalled the “many priests, monks, nuns who give generosity their service to the kingdom of God”. And the young people who give up their interests to devote their time to children, the disabled, and the elderly.

The Pope then spoke of the Christians and non-Christians who "lose their life" for the truth, adding “those who serve the truth serve Christ.”

Before reciting the Marian prayer the Holy Father focused his attention on one great man who gave his life for the truth, John the Baptist whose feast day is celebrated on June 24th. He said John was chosen by God to prepare the way before Jesus. John devoted himself entirely to God and his messenger. But it was Jesus who eventually died for the cause of truth.

During the Angelus the Pope also stressed ,especially to the young people present, the importance of having the courage to go against the tide of current values that do not conform to the path of Jesus.