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Pope Francis: ‘Mary teaches us not to be ashamed of tears’

Meeting members of the Pastoral Community of Our Lady of the Tears” in Treviglio, in Northern Italy, Pope Francis highlights that the world today has lost the capacity to “cry with the heart” at the tragedies of our times, as Mary did showing God’s compassion.

By Lisa Zengarini

“We must not be ashamed of crying, on the contrary, the saints teach us that tears are a gift, sometimes a grace, a sign of repentance, a liberation of the heart”. Pope Francis stressed this point on Saturday as he received in audience some 2,800  Italian parishioners of the Pastoral Community of the shrine of Our Lady of the Tears in Treviglio Northern Italy, in the  Paul VI Audience Hall.

The community is celebrating 500th anniversary of the miracle of the Virgin who saved the city from the French troops with her tears on February 28, 1522. 

In his address to the Italian pilgrims, Pope Francis highlighted the special significance for our Christian faith of Mary's tears which, he said  “reflect the tears of Jesus”  at our miseries.

Tears are a sign of God's compassion

When Mary, “the first disciple” of Jesus, cries “her tears are a sign of God's compassion”, of “Christ's pain for our sins, and for the evil that afflicts humanity, especially the little ones, the innocent who are the ones who suffer”, Pope Francis explained, remarking that  God “has always compassion for us and wants to forgive us”.

God cries for the victims of war in Ukraine

He went on to point out that her tears are also “a sign of God's cry for the victims of the war that is destroying not only Ukraine", warning  once  again that war is a defeat for everyone: losers and winners.

“Let’s have the courage to tell the truth: this war is destroying all the people involved. All of them. Because the war doesn't destroy only the defeated people, no, it also destroys the winner; it destroys also everyone watching superficial news to see who's the winner and who's the loser. The war destroys everyone”

Mary Mother of Peace and Mercy

Recalling his recent consecration of humanity, and especially of Ukraine and Russia, to the Immaculate Heart of Mary so that through her intercession the ongoing war in Ukraine may end, he further reminded that Mary is the Mother of Peace, but also of God's Mercy.

“We have entrusted our supplication to her Immaculate Heart, and we are certain that our Mother, who is the Queen of Peace, has accepted this supplication and is interceding for peace.”

Crying  with those who cry

“Mary  teaches us not to be ashamed of tears".  Indeed, the Pope said, crying means “opening up to the good Father and also to our brothers”. It means “allowing ourselves to be moved by the wounds of those we meet along our way; knowing how to share, to welcome, and to rejoice with those who rejoice and to cry with those who cry”. However, he noted, society in our time has lost this capacity of crying "well", that is “with the heart” as Mary did, or as St. Peter did when he repented.

The grace of crying

This is why -  Pope Francis said -  we should ask God to grant us “the grace of crying” at what we see:  not only wars, but also at people, like the poor, the elderly and even unborn children, been discarded. “The miseries of our time should make us cry and we need to cry”, he  emphasized. 

Bringing his discourse to a close, the Holy Father  praised the spirit of the Community of "Our Lady of Tears" summarized in its name which speaks of “a pastoral care of tenderness, compassion, and closeness” inspired by Mary’s example. “We must  always learn from Mary to follow Jesus”, he concluded.

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23 April 2022, 14:13