Pope Francis with members of the Union of Superiors General in Italy Pope Francis with members of the Union of Superiors General in Italy  (Vatican Media)

Pope tells Religious Superiors to keep bringing hope to our 'lost' world

Pope Francis meets with the Union of Major Superiors in Italy to mark their 70th Chapter and offers them three points of reflection on the important role they play, especially regarding women and synodality.

By Francesca Merlo

Choosing three aspects on the theme 'On Synodal Path, Women Witnesses of the Risen Lord', Pope Francis addressed Italy's Union of Major Superiors, in the Vatican for their 70th Chapter. 

Women witnesses

The first aspect, based on their chosen theme, the Pope began, is "women witnesses of the Risen Lord". The Holy Father explained that the first witnesses of the Lord's Resurrection were, in fact, women. "Those courageous women allowed themselves to be surprised and moved by the power and light of the Risen One and set out to seek him", said the Pope, adding that they were always fully aware of how important it is to have the Lord alive in our hearts. 

The choices made

The second aspect the Pope spoke about was tied to them being "on the synodal path". In this regard, Pope Francis reminded those present that the presence of Jesus does not close us in on ourselves, but rather "pushes us towards an encounter with others and towards a decision to walk with others". In fact, he continued, "these women chose neither to keep the joy of the encounter to themselves nor to make the journey alone: they chose to walk with others".

Pope Francis stressed the importance of always remembering that "in order to "walk together" it is necessary that we allow ourselves to be educated by the Spirit to a truly synodal mentality, entering with courage and freedom of heart into a process of conversion". This is the main road of the Church, he added.

Hope from women

The third and final aspect the Holy Father addressed was to be "sowers of hope". He noted that the encounter with the Risen Jesus fills the heart with hope and makes us become "generators of hope" and therefore "proclaiming and bringing God's salvation to this world of ours, which is often lost, which needs answers that encourage, that give hope, that reinvigorate the journey." Continue on this path, stressed the Pope.

Finally, Pope Francis told the sisters present that "the Lord is calling you to be with renewed enthusiasm "women witnesses of the Risen Lord, on a synodal path and sowers of hope", before blessing them and entrusting each of them to the Lord and to Mary Most Holy. 

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13 April 2023, 13:00