Continuing his series of Wednesday general audiences on the works of mercy, Pope Francis devoted his November 9 catechesis to healing the sick and visiting the imprisoned.
“Jesus himself is our model in both,” the Pope told the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square, according to the official English-language synthesis of his remarks. “He shows us the importance of drawing near to those who so often feel alone and abandoned.”
“How much good is done when we visit the sick and those in prison, and how much we ourselves are enriched by these acts of charity!” he continued. “Visiting the imprisoned is a fruitful way of bringing the Lord’s healing presence to those who are paying for their mistakes. Deprived of their freedom, they especially need to hear the message of God’s merciful love and forgiveness, and in this way to recognize their worth and dignity.”
The Pope added:
Jesus himself, though innocent, suffered in prison for our sake, and the apostles Peter and Paul used the time of their imprisonment to pray and proclaim the Gospel. By visiting the sick and the imprisoned, may we bring God’s mercy and its redemptive power to our brothers and sisters in need.
Thirty-eight martyrs slain by Albania’s Communist regime between 1945 and 1974 were beatified in Shkodër, Albania, on November 5.
“While the persecutors dissolve like so many black shadows which are lost forever in the darkness of eternal oblivion, martyrs are guiding lights that shine in the sky of humanity, showing the true face of man’s goodness, his profound identity created in the image of God,” Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, preached during the Mass of beatification.
On November 6, Pope Francis said following his Angelus address that the martyrs were “victims of severe persecution of the atheist regime that dominated a long time in that country in the last century.”
“They preferred to suffer imprisonment, torture and eventually death, in order to remain faithful to Christ and the Church,” he continued. “May their example help us find strength in the Lord who offers support in times of trouble, and inspires attitudes of kindness, forgiveness and peace.”
Contrary to pollsters’ expectations, a majority of Catholic voters cast ballots for Donald Trump in the US presidential election, according to exit polls cited by the New York Times.
Trump won the Catholic vote by a margin of 52 to 45%, the polls showed. Most surveys before the election had shown Hillary Clinton winning more Catholic votes.
Protestants gave Trump a larger edge, opting for the Republican candidate by 58- 39%, and Evangelical or “born-again” Christians were overwhelmingly (81- 16%) in favor of Trump.
Voters who identified with no religious institution broke decisively for Clinton, 68- 26%.