Pope Francis embraces a boy at the event on Monday Pope Francis embraces a boy at the event on Monday  (VATICAN MEDIA Divisione Foto)

Pope praises compassion of 'Little House of Mercy' in Sicily

Pope Francis commends the Apostolic Fraternity of Mercy for their 25-year-long commitment to serving people in need, urging them to embrace humility, creative service, and a desire to lead people to God's tender embrace.

By Francesca Merlo

Pope Francis on Monday addressed members of the Apostolic Fraternity of Mercy and the community of the Little House of Mercy in Gela, Sicily, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Apostolic Fraternity and the 10th anniversary of the Little House.

In his address, the Holy Father extended a warm welcome to the attendees and emphasised the importance of their work and the spirituality that guides them.

The Pope highlighted the significance of the large family gathered for the occasion, saying each person contributes unique gifts and offers a testament to the journey of the Apostolic Fraternity of Mercy over the years.

Work for the underprivileged

Pope Francis recognised the group's dedicated efforts in addressing the needs of the underprivileged and vulnerable, noting the various initiatives from daily soup kitchens to craft workshops, school remedial services, and spaces for family dialogue.

He praised their creative, courageous, and generous approach to helping those in need, urging them to continue their noble work.

"I can see that you have allowed yourselves to be provoked and disturbed by the needs of the brothers and sisters that God has placed on your path, especially the least and neediest," the Pope noted.

He added that, despite their difficulties, the Fraternity has not "moved on, but has paused and drawn close" to people in need, caring for them "with creativity, courage, and generosity."

Spirituality of Mercy

The Holy Father then invited the members of the Apostolic Fraternity to nurture the spiritual foundation that underpins their mission: the spirituality of Mercy and of the One Bread.

This spirituality, he said, calls for humility and discipleship of the Eucharistic Christ, revealing the Father's face through their actions.

"Reveal, in service and in the gift of yourselves, the tenderness of the Father's face," Pope Francis emphasised.

"In the many tasks in which you spend yourselves every day, never forget that this is the ultimate meaning of your actions and your primary vocation," he said. "Do everything with only one desire: that the people who meet you come to know Him. Try, in doing good, to disappear, with humility, so that in what you do the Lord alone may appear, and all may come to Him."

Restlessness and humility

Pope Francis concluded his address by advising the Apostolic Fraternity to maintain two crucial attitudes in their journey: a holy creative restlessness and profound humility.

These attitudes, he said, will enable them to respond concretely to the needs of their fellow human beings while simultaneously facilitating a personal encounter with the merciful face of the Father.

"Here, then, are two important attitudes with which I encourage you to continue your journey: a holy creative restlessness and much humility," the Pope concluded. "Keep up the good work!"

Thank you for reading our article. You can keep up-to-date by subscribing to our daily newsletter. Just click here

06 November 2023, 12:00