VISIT TO THE ROMAN PARISH OF STS ELIZABETH
HOMILY OF POPE
Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
Sunday, 26 May 2013
At the start of the Eucharistic Celebration, the
Holy Father, after the greeting of the parish priest,
Dear First Watchman, dear Second
Watchman, dear Watchmen,
I like what you said: that the word
“outskirts” has a negative connotation but also a
positive one. Do you know why? Because we understand
reality better from the outskirts not the centre. We
understand it better. Also, what you said: about
becoming watchmen, wasn’t it?
Thank you for this office, for your work
as watchmen. I thank you too for your welcome on this
day of the Feast of the Trinity. There are priests here
whom you know well, the two secretaries of the Pope, the
Pope who is in the Vatican, isn’t he? Today the Bishop
of Rome has come here. And these two work hard. But
today one of them, Fr Alfred, is celebrating the
anniversary of his priestly ordination: 29 years. Give
him a round of applause! Let us pray for him and ask for
at least another 29 years for him. Shall we? Let us
begin Mass like this, with a spirit of devotion, in
silence, all praying together for all of us.
Later the Holy Father gave a homily in
the form of a dialogue with the children who are First
Communicants this year.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In his greeting the Parish Priest
reminded me of something beautiful about Our Lady. Our
Lady, as soon as she had heard the news that she was to
be the Mother of Jesus and the announcement that her
cousin Elizabeth was expecting a child — the Gospel says
— she went to her in haste, she did not wait. She did
not say: “But now I am with child I must take care of my
health. My cousin is bound to have friends who can care
for her”. Something stirred her and she “went with
haste” to Elizabeth (cf. Lk 1:39). It is beautiful to
think this of Our Lady, of our Mother, that she hastens,
because she intends to help. She goes to help, she
doesn't go to boast and tell her cousin: “listen, I’m in
charge now, because I am the Mother of God!”. No, she
did not do that. She went to help! And Our Lady is
always like this. She is our Mother who always hurries
to us whenever we are in need.
It would be beautiful to add to the
Litany of Our Lady something like this: “O Lady who goes
in haste, pray for us!”. It is lovely, isn’t? For she
always goes in haste, she does not forget her children.
And when her children are in difficulty, when they need
something and call on her, she hurries to them. This
gives us a security, the security of always having our
Mother next to us, beside us. We move forward, we
journey more easily in life when our mother is near. Let
us think of this grace of Our Lady, this grace that she
gives us: of being close to us, but without making us
wait for her. Always! She — lets us trust in this — she
lives to help us. Our Lady who always hastens, for our
Our Lady also helps us to understand God
and Jesus well, to understand Jesus’ life well and God’s
life, and to understand properly what the Lord is, what
the Lord is like and, God is. I ask you children: “Who
knows who God is?”. Raise your hand. Tell me? There!
Creator of the earth. And how many Gods are there? One?
But I have been told that there are three: the Father,
the Son and the Holy Spirit! How can this be explained?
Is there one or are there three? One? One? And how is it
possible to explain that one is the Father, another the
Son and the other the Holy Spirit? Louder, Louder! That
girl is right. They are three in one, three Persons in
And what does the Father do? The Father
is the beginning, the Father who created all things, who
created us. What does the Son do? What does Jesus do?
Who can tell me what Jesus does? Does he love us? And
then? He brings the word of God! Jesus comes to teach us
the word of God. This is excellent! And what then? What
did Jesus do on earth? He saved us! And Jesus came to
give his life for us. The Father creates the world;
Jesus saves us.
And what does the Holy Spirit do? He
loves us! He gives you love! All the children together:
the Father creates all, he creates the world; Jesus
saves us; and the Holy Spirit? He loves us! And this is
Christian life: talking to the Father, talking to the
Son and talking to the Holy Spirit. Jesus has saved us,
but he also walks beside us in life. Is this true? And
how does he walk? What does he do when he walks beside
us in life? This is hard. Anyone who knows this wins the
Derby! What does Jesus do when he walks with us? Louder!
First: he helps us. He leads us! Very good. He walks
with us, he helps us, he leads us and he teaches us to
And Jesus also gives us the strength to
work. Doesn’t he? He sustains us! Good! In difficulty,
doesn’t he? And also in our school tasks! He supports
us, he helps us, he leads us, he sustains us. That’s it!
Jesus always goes with us. Good. But listen, Jesus gives
us strength. How does Jesus give us strength? You know
this, you know that he gives us strength! Louder, I
can’t hear you! In Communion he gives us strength, he
really helps us with strength. He comes to us. But when
you say, “he gives us Communion”, does a piece of bread
make you so strong? Isn’t it bread? Is it bread? This is
bread, but is what is on the altar bread? Or isn’t it
bread? It seems to be bread. It is not really bread.
What is it? It is the Body of Jesus. Jesus comes into
So let us all think about this: the
Father has given us life; Jesus has given us salvation,
he accompanies us, he leads us, he supports us, he
teaches us; and the Holy Spirit? What does he give us?
He loves us! He gives us love. Let us think of God in
this way and ask Our Lady, Our Lady our Mother, who
always hurries to our aid, to teach us to understand
properly what God is like: what the Father is like, what
the Son is like, and what the Holy Spirit is like. So be