Joy and the strength of Christian patience make people
younger and help them to accept trials and to live patiently through the
difficulties of life. Pope Francis recalled this in the Homily of the Mass
celebrated on Tuesday morning, 7 May, in the Chapel of the Domus Sanctae
Marthae. Among those who participated were the second group of staff from
the Fabric of St Peter's and of the Treasury Museum of St Peter's Basilica.
Among the concelebrants were Cardinal Angelo Comastri and
Cardinal Jorge María Mejía; Archbishop Carlos Aguiar Retes of Tlalnepantla,
Mexico, and President of CELAM, with Auxiliary: Bishop Efraín Mendoza Cruz;
Bishop Vittorio Lanzani, Delegate of the Fabric of St Peter's; Bishop
Francisco Javier Chavolla Ramos of Toluca, Mexico; and Bishop Juan José
Omella Omella of Calahorra y La Calzada– Logroño, Spain.
The day's Readings — from the Acts of the Apostles
(16:22-24) and from the Gospel of John (16:5-11) — afforded the Pope the
occasion to present once again the spirit of endurance witnessed by the
early Christian Martyrs. On this subject, the Holy Father reminded the
faithful of the testimony given by Paul and Silas in prison, who remained in
prayer and sang hymns to God.
The Pontiff presented the exemplary witness of the martyrs
who “were joyous while giving witness to Jesus. I am thinking, for example,
of the martyrs of Nagasaki Hill: Each one helped the other, they
strengthened each other and spoke of Jesus as they awaited the moment of
death; and it is said of some Roman martyrs that they set off for their
martyrdom as if going to a wedding-banquet”. Yet, he warned, this doesn't
mean to take on a masochistic attitude: it means simply “placing oneself on
the path of Jesus”, who was the first to embrace this dimension of patience,
undergoing his own Passion.
Nevertheless, this does not signify a sad silence, just as
Jesus' silence was not sad when he suffered on the Cross: “It is painful,
and often it is very sorrowful, but it is not sad”, for the heart is at