By Sr Bernadette Mary Reis, fsp
On the conclusion of the recitation of the Angelus on Sunday before a sizable crowd gathered in St Peter's Square, Pope Francis introduced his new Encyclical Fratelli tutti, and said he had the "joy of giving the new Encyclical" to them.
"Yesterday I was in a Assisi to sign the new encyclical, Fratelli tutti, on fraternity and social friendship. I offered it to God on the tomb of Saint Francis who inspired as in the preceding Encyclical Laudato si’. ".
"The signs of the times show clearly that human fraternity and the care of creation form the sole way toward integral development and peace, as already indicated by the saintly Popes John XXIII, Paul VI and John Paul II."
Pope Francis then announced that a special edition of L'Osservatore Romano containing the Encyclical would be given as his gift to everyone in the Square.
He ended his presentation with the words: "May St. Francis accompany the journey of fraternity in the Church, between believers of all religions between and all people".
Season of Creation
Pope Francis then turned his attention to the conclusion of the Season of Creation: "Today concludes the Season of Creation begun this past 1st of September, when we celebrated a Jubilee for the Earth together with our brothers and sisters from various Christian Churches". He specifically greeted representatives of the Global Catholic Climate Movement, various “Laudato si’ ” groups and associations committed to fostering integral ecology.
The Pope then acknowledged the 100th anniversary of the foundation of Stella Maris in Scotland. "On this anniversary", he said, "I encourage the chaplains and volunteers to joyfully witness the Church's presence in the ports, those who work in the maritime industry, fishermen and their families".
Then the Pope announced Saturday's beatification of Father Olinto Marella, a priest of the Diocese of Chioggia. Fr Marella was a "pastor after Christ's heart", the Pope said, "a father of the poor and defender of the weak. May his extraordinary witness be a model for many priests, called to be humble and courageous servants of the People of God". He then led the crowd in a round of applause for the new Blessed.
Families of the Swiss Guards
After greeting other groups in general, the Pope drew attention to the family and friends of the Swiss Guards who came to witness the swearing in of the new recruits. "These young men are excellent!" the Pope said. He then explained that they serve the Church for a number of years, some two, others three, four or more years. He then asked for a "warm round of applause for the Swiss Guards".