Pope Francis held his weekly General Audience in St Peter’s Square on Wednesday. The Holy Father continued his catechetical reflections on the Church, focusing on the image of the Church as Mother. The Pope also greeted pilgrims from several countries, including England, Wales, Kenya, Malta and the United States. Below, please find the full text of the official English-language summary of Pope Francis’ catechesis, as well as his words of greeting to English-speaking pilgrims and visitors.
Dear Brothers and Sisters: today I wish to continue our catechesis on the Church by reflecting on an image used by the early Fathers and the Second Vatican Council: the Church as our Mother. By reflecting on the human experience of maternity, we understand that the Church is like our own Mothers. First, like our Mothers, the Church gives us the gift of life. Through the Sacrament of Baptism, we are reborn as children of God and receive his life. While faith is a personal act, we also recognize that faith comes to us through others – our families and communities who teach us how to believe. Second, like our Mothers, the Church nourishes us, helps us to grow, teaches us the path to follow, and accompanies us in life, especially in our illnesses and sufferings, through the Sacraments and the Word of God. Third, it is also our mission to go forth and share in the maternity of the Church by bringing others to a life of faith. And so we ask ourselves, do we love the Church as our Mother, who helps us to grow as Christians? And how do we go beyond ourselves in order to bring Christ to others? As faithful children, let us bring the light of Christ to the ends of the earth.
I offer an affectionate greeting to all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at today’s Audience, including those from England, Scotland, Wales, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Malta, Kenya and the United States. May your stay in the Eternal City increase your love for Christ and his Church, our Mother. God bless you all!