Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh, Primate of All Ireland, has issued his St. Patrick’s Day message and called for reflection on St. Patrick as a refugee and undocumented migrant.
“This Saint Patrick’s Day, prompted by the situation of thousands of displaced people around the world, let us think about Patrick the ‘unlearned refugee’ (as he once described himself), the slave in exile, Patrick the undocumented migrant,” he wrote. “As Irish people, we cannot think of Patrick without acknowledging the enormous humanitarian and pastoral challenges facing growing numbers of people who find themselves displaced and without status in our world.”
Pope Francis visited the Roman parish of St. Magdalene of Canossa on the afternoon of March 12. After hearing confessions and meeting with local priests and various groups of parishioners, he celebrated Mass.
In his extemporaneous homily, the Pope preached that “Jesus was made sin, He was made God’s malediction for us: in the Passion the blessed Son became the accursed, because He took our sins upon Himself. Let us think of this—so much love! So much love!”
“And let us think also of the beauty of the transfigured face of Jesus that we will see in heaven,” he continued. “And may this contemplation of the two faces of Jesus—the transfigured and the one made sin, accursed—encourage us to go ahead on the path of life, on the path of Christian life.”
Continuing his series of Wednesday addresses on Christian hope, Pope Francis reflected on charity and hope in his March 15 general audience.
“Today we consider the joy that hope brings to our daily exercise of charity,” the Pope said to those gathered in St. Peter’s Square. “We know how difficult it is to love as our Lord commands us, and how often our love can be tainted by self-interest. It is important to remember that love—charity—is a grace, the fruit of our saving encounter with God’s own love.”
“Saint Paul reminds us that the Lord’s grace forgives our sins, heals our hearts and enables us to become channels of his own unconditional love,” he continued. “Our efforts to love our brothers and sisters with a pure and disinterested love are really our response to the love we have been shown in Christ.”
Pope Francis added:
Conscious of our human weakness, let us ask our Lord daily to renew the gift of his love within us and to enable us to be witnesses of that love to others, especially those in greatest need. In this way, we will fulfill the Apostle’s command to “rejoice in hope” (Rom. 12:12), as we strive to grow in the life of charity and to draw others to the merciful love of the Father.