Dear brothers and sisters: In our catechesis on the Acts of the Apostles, we now consider several events of Paul’s second missionary journey. Guided by the Holy Spirit, Paul sets sail for Macedonia, where, in Philippi, he first preaches to a group of women gathered for the Sabbath. One of them, Lydia, opens her heart to welcome Jesus, and, together with her household, is baptized. As a result, she opens her home to Christ’s followers, giving an example of the Christian hospitality born of faith. Cast into prison for healing a slave girl, Paul and Silas pray fervently to the Lord and are freed of their chains by a sudden earthquake. This prompts their jailer to ask how he too can be saved, and after hearing the word of the Lord, he receives baptism together with his family. In these events we see the working of the Holy Spirit and the unchained power of the Gospel. Let us ask the Holy Spirit to open our hearts, like that of Lydia, to welcome his word and to serve others, and, like Paul and Silas, to be strengthened in the faith that alone can break the chains that enslave us and those around us.
The Pope also greeted the various English-speaking groups present at the Audience:
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially the groups from England, Ireland, Denmark, Australia, Korea, Indonesia, Israel, the Philippines, Canada and the United States of America. Upon all of you, and your families, I invoke the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you!