Vatican News
The collection of Pope Francis' Holy Thursday Chrism Mass homilies. The collection of Pope Francis' Holy Thursday Chrism Mass homilies.  (Vatican Media)

Pope gifts priests with homilies of his Chrism Masses

At the end of the Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday morning in Rome’s St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis handed each priest a collection of his homilies of Holy Thursday Chrism Masses as Pope, including this year’s.

By Robin Gomes

Entitled, “Our hard work is precious for Jesus”, the book published by the Vatican Publishing House (LEV) is in distribution from Holy Thursday onwards.

The homilies from 2013 to 2019 are a symbol of his encouragement to priests in their ministry. 

At the annual Chrism Mass, priests gather around their diocesan bishops to celebrate their priesthood, symbolizing the unity of the local church.  Each of the patriarchs, cardinals, archbishops, bishops and priests present in Rome who joined Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Basilica on April 18, to renew the promises they made on the day of their ordination, received a copy of the book. 

The blessing of the holy oils, or chrism, that is used in the various sacraments during the year also takes place during the Chrism Mass.

The homily of this year’s Chrism Mass is entitled, “Anointed in order to anoint”.  “We are not distributors of bottled oil,” the Pope said. “We anoint by distributing ourselves, distributing our vocation and our heart.”  “When we anoint others, we ourselves are anointed anew by the faith and the affection of our people.  We anoint by dirtying our hands in touching the wounds, the sins and the worries of the people.  We anoint by perfuming our hands in touching their faith, their hopes, their fidelity and the unconditional generosity of their self-giving.”

The book contains the following homily titles in full:

- “Shepherds with the smell of sheep”, March 28, 2013

- “Anointed with the oil of joy”, April 17, 2014

- "Our tiredness goes straight to the Heart of the Father", April 2, 2015

- “Witnesses and ministers of mercy”, March 24 2016

- “The joyful proclamation”, April 13 2017

- “Close to the people of God”, March 29 2018

- “Anointed in order to anoint” April 18, 2019

18 April 2019, 13:03