‘Pray for me,’ Pope Francis urges at first Angelus

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Pope Francis leads his first Angelus prayer from the window of the apartments at St. Peter’s square on Sunday at the Vatican. AFP PHOTO / GIUSEPPE CACACE

VATICAN CITY—Pope Francis appeared before some 150,000 pilgrims massed in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday for his first Angelus prayer and asked the faithful to pray for him.

“Thank you for your welcome, and for your prayers,” the first pope from Latin America said from a window of the papal apartment high above the square. “Pray for me,” he added.

Dozens of flags from Francis’ native Argentina were waving in the square, along with the Vatican’s yellow and white standard, as the former cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio recited the traditional Sunday Angelus prayer, the first of his papacy.

Flags from other Latin American nations including Colombia, Peru, Paraguay and Mexico, could also be seen in the crowd.

One banner read: “Francis, You Are the Springtime of the Church”, reflecting a groundswell of hope that the choice of a humble outsider has inspired in many Catholics weary of Vatican scandal and dysfunction.

Gabriel Solis, 33, an Argentine pilgrim, spoke of his “indescribable emotion.”

“He will bring much peace because he seems more humble, more spontaneous,” he said. “He seems closer to the people. We didn’t feel that with the pope we had before.”

The Angelus has traditionally been a moment to comment on international issues, but Francis instead used the occasion to emphasize his Italian roots.

The former Buenos Aires archbishop, whose parents hailed from Italy, said he chose to name himself after St. Francis of Assisi because of his “spiritual ties with this land.”

Earlier Sunday the pope grabbed an opportunity to shake hands with well-wishers, plunging into crowds pushing against barricades outside a Vatican gate as security men and Swiss Guards stood nervously by.

Chanting “Viva Il Papa” and calling his name, the well-wishers jostled to greet the new pontiff, who has projected a common touch by breaking with many formal traditions since his surprise election to lead the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics on Wednesday.

The 76-year-old pope’s informal style is markedly different from that of his more austere 85-year-old predecessor Benedict XVI, who stunned the world last month by announcing his resignation citing his advanced age.

A million people may attend the pope’s inauguration mass on Tuesday, including world leaders who are set to begin flying into Rome on Sunday.

Among them is Argentine President Cristina Kirchner who had tense relations with Bergoglio, the former archbishop of Buenos Aires, before his elevation to pope.

US Vice President Joe Biden was also due to arrive later Sunday.

Francis, whose Italian father was a railway worker, has already spoken to Catholic leaders about the need for spiritual renewal and evangelization and cautioned them against worldly glories, as well as calling for a “poor Church” that should be closer to ordinary people.

He warned cardinals that the Church would fall apart “like a sand castle” if it did not have a solid spiritual foundation and urged them to share their wisdom — “good wine that gets better over the years” — with young people.

At the same time, Francis has faced accusations at home that he failed at the time to speak out against brutalities committed during the years of the military junta in Argentina (1976-1983) when he was head of the country’s Jesuits.

The Vatican has firmly rejected claims that Bergoglio failed to intervene when two Jesuit priests were tortured by the dictatorship, saying the allegations were part of a leftist, anti-clerical campaign.

The Argentine judge who investigated the case, German Castelli, also came out in support of the pope on Saturday, saying that prosecutors had found that Bergoglio had “no case to answer.”

But the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo organization, founded to help locate children who were kidnapped during the military era, lambasted the new pope.

“He has never spoken of the problem of people who had disappeared under dictatorial rule,” said Estela Carlotto, the head of the group, whose daughter Laura was abducted and killed.

Francis is a moderate conservative who is unlikely to change key doctrine but experts say that he could push for more social justice and a friendlier faith.

Vatican watchers are keeping a close eye on nominations to top posts as an indication of what changes in substance his papacy could herald.

Francis will meet next Saturday with Benedict, the first pope to stand down since the Middle Ages.

The resignation brought to an abrupt end a troubled eight-year papacy that was often overshadowed by scandals including the ongoing denunciations of hushed-up sexual abuse of children by paedophile priests stretching back decades.

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  • reddfrog

    Why? Can’t he pray for himself?

  • UrHONOR

    I’D rather pray for the TATAYS and politicians in white gowns in Bacolod and for the helmeted ones in CBCP…..that they may remove the blinders in their eyes and see the beams than the motes in others’ eyes. So mote it be.

    • Dax Cogitlog

      Exactly ! … They have a BIG log in their eyes…..and they got blinded by it…..Pweeee ! TEAM TATAY and (Fr. Juliano Retiquez – Cagayan De Oro ).

      • UrHONOR

        AND also for the numerologists of chapters and verses that they may learn how to think, stand, and fend for themselves rather than hopelessly dependent on works of men through irrelevant numbers and more numbers.

    • jpeter262

      Let us follow Jesus Christ example, respecting the authority. Give unto Cesar what is unto Cesar. If the Pope is asking for prayer give him the respect.He has a very special role in the prophecy before the coming back of Jesus Christ

      – – “”And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled (Rev 17:3-6)

      Judas was with the original 12 Apostles — preaching and healing the sick. After 3
      1/2 yrs, in the last supper Jesus Christ told Judas to do what he is supposed to do to fulfill the prophecy:

      – – “”Then Jesus said to him, “What you do, do quickly.” But no one at the table knew for what reason He said this to him. (John 13:27-28)

      • UrHONOR

        SORRY but I am allergic to bible-toters and bible-quoters that can not express themselves but through numbers that have no relevance. BTW, are you an authority on bible studies that you appear to be delivering a homily? Do you have an STL, PhD, or DD? Otherwise, what you did was wholly presumptuousness and immaterial. Further, such unsolicited pouring of sanctimony has of no value to me.

      • jpeter262

        I’m really sorry for the discomfort. If it has a value to you or not is your own decision. I’m just giving my own opinion about the subject.

        I don’t know of any of the original Apostles that has an ST, PhD, or DD but they preached together with Jesus Christ with full authority. As a matter of fact Jesus Christ was questioning the teaching of the Bible scholars at that time. Even the donkey talks when the message need to be sent.

      • UrHONOR

        NO need to be sorry….no discomfort either…a quick glance was not at all a discomfort to me.

        You CERTAINLY are no APOSTLE. Further APOSTLES were not bible-qioters…they used their own brains to share their stories.

        If you study the teachings of the RCCh which I presume you are a part of, interpreting the bible is solely the province of the ordained ministers and not to be done haphazardly by anyone else trying hard to be a proselytizer. And if you do not belong to the RCCh, the liberal bible-quoters, whose favorite past time is the eternal debate using bible-quotes by the Quiapo church, MIGHT be a perfect match for you.

      • jpeter262

        I never claimed as an Apostle. Those Apostles were quoting the Scripture (OT) as Jesus Christ did. I can only use my brain to the capacity that God gave me. Ang ibig ko bagang sabihin kaibigan ay hindi na kailangang magkaroon pa ng utak na kasing galing ng sa iyo para ma intindihan ang Bible. kahit ang donkey na may utak kabayo ay pinagsasalita ng Diyos kung kailangang magsend ng message.

        The Bible never say that only ordained ministers or priests
        can understand and interpret is. It is the will of the Father for us to
        understand the Book through Jesus Christ His Son.

        – – -“”All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Tim 3:16-17).

        Baka mas RCCh ka pa kaysa akin. Kung nagsisimba ka, which I hope you are, sinisiguro ko na hindi sa tamang ipinag-uutos ng God – -The
        seventh day Sabbath. You just believed the understanding and interpretation of the ordained ministers in relation to the Word of God. Be like the Berean – – Check the Scripture ourselves if it is so.

      • UrHONOR

        WOW! Galing naman ng homily mo, kabayan. Ang dami kong natutunan. Kahit na donkey pala ay pinagsasalita ng diyos. Susubukan ko yan…..tingnan ko kung anong sasabihin sa akin ng donkey :)

        I really do not care what your bible says. THE POINT is NO ONE is obligated nor should BASE his LIFE on a book written of men, by men, and for men. He should use his own brains in facing the vicissitudes of life and not rely nor depend entirely on anyone or anything else.

        YOUR belief of the bible is yours and yours alone and you should keep it to yourself, unless you have the propensity to be a proselytizer that I mistook you for your bible-quoting rejoinder which you just deny.

        People who ram down chapters and verses down someone else’s throat from a book that can EASILY be accessed anytime, anywhere sends only one message: toe the line per the bible quotes. That is uncalled for. Preach your beliefs to those who asks for them…anything given freely unsolicited has no value.

        Finally, do check the bible yourself if that’s what sustains your life. I have gone through that book cover to cover, nth times, and what I need I can always draw from my personal resources and arsenal.

        If you believe that there is a god and that god is omnipresent, there’s no need for churches nor agents or go-betweens the main objective of whom is purely for FREEBIES in exchange for services that are unnecessary and misleading..

      • jpeter262

        Hindi nga kapanipaniwala ang magagawa ng God. You can play around with a donkey but you cannot play around with God.

        – – – “but he was rebuked for his iniquity: a dumb donkey
        speaking with a man’s voice restrained the madness of the prophet. (2Peter 2:16)

        How to live ones life is up to the individual. Living by every word of God is very enjoyable one.

        – – – “”It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’ (Luke 4:4).

        Jesus Christ preached in the Synagogues. The Apostles preached in the different Churches of God. There must be a real advantages in attending the churches. Caution: we can do as what the Berean are doing — Check if their teaching is in accordance with the Bible. Ask God’s help and He will help you.

        In the 4th commandment God asked us to work six days. So we can
        have something to live with. A good man must work diligently to leave inheritance to their children’s children.

        – – -“”A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, (Prov 13:22)

        How long and how many times we read the Bible is not a gauge of understanding the Book. It is when God will allow us to understand it.

        – – – “”But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ (2 Cor 3:14)

        – – – “”Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: ‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, And seeing you will see and not
        perceive; (Matt 13:13-14)

      • UrHONOR

        SUS, diosme, you sure are a frustrated proselytizer! Hindi ako nag-aaksaya ng panahon sa mga ka-echosang de numero na kung ano-ano ang laman. DRAB, DULL, and DREARY. Tigas din ng ulo mo. Yang mga ganyang mga pagpapwelang mga messages ay hindi ko binabasa o pinapansin….no value to me. Kasasabi ko lang ang tungkol sa unsolicited god-god, e, bumira ka na naman. Nakiki-kapwa lamang ako. End of the line.

      • jpeter262

        It is a waste of time trying to convert anyone at all. People won’t understand the Bible anyway without the will of the Father.

        Dahil surprised ka how much God can do that even a donkey can talk kaya I tried to show you what is in the Bible.

        Time will come that you can understand the message of God at His will.

        Thank you very much for your patience in reading my comments.

  • UrHONOR

    Angelus domini nuntiavit……Francisci! UrH 3:17

  • http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/ Lucky Luciano

    “Argentinian cardinal says God spoke through Pope Benedict.” + Pray for you?

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