Lunedì, 22 Ottobre 2018
VATICAN CITY

Pope Francis gives first Angelus

English
© ANSA

Vatican City, March 17 - Pope Francis on Sunday
gave his first Angelus address in St Peter's Square before over
150,000 people who turned out to greet the former archbishop of
Buenos Aires, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who was elevated to the
papacy on Wednesday.
"Buon giorno (good afternoon)," he told the crowd as he
appeared from a window of the papal apartment, evoking cheers
and laughs for a humble greeting that recalled his "buona sera
(good evening)" upon emerging from the conclave and introducing
himself to the people of Rome.
Earlier in the day, the 76-year-old was hounded by adoring
faithful as he went to celebrate mass inside the Church of Saint
Anne, his local parish church inside the Vatican walls.
In stark contrast to his predecessor Benedict XVI, he shook
hands with the crowd, exchanged greetings and even told jokes in
his first opportunity to meet with the public since his
elevation to the throne of St Peter.
As onlookers gathered to hear his Angelus, the square
turned into a sea of faces and flags, many from Argentina and
Latin America in honor of history's first Latin American
pontiff, and some from countries as far afield as Pakistan and
Syria.
Banners stretched across Bernini's colonades bore slogans
such as "Bergoglio, il nostro orgoglio (Bergoglio, our pride) to
"Communion and Liberation", the evangelical lay-Catholic group
with close ties to Francis.
Shouts of 'Viva il Papa!' were like bookends to the
beginning and end of his Sunday address, which centered on the
parable of Jesus and the woman taken in adultery, with themes of
God's mercy and compassion to forgive.
"He never tires of forgiving, but we often tire of asking
for it," said Francis.
With an irresistable grin, the first Jesuit pope is quickly
winning the hearts and minds of Italians and especially Romans -
his local congregation as the bishop of Rome - thanks to a
penchant for clear, straightforward speech, humorous anecdotes
and grandfatherly charm.
"In the past few days I read a book about mercy by (German)
Cardinal Walter Kasper, quite a theologian, very talented. That
book was very good for me, but don't think I'm doing publicity
for the books of the cardinals," he joked.
He went on to recall meeting once with an old woman, who he
affectionately called a "grandma" who needed prayer.
When he asked her if she knew that God forgives, she told
him she was absolutely sure that he did.
"How can you be so certain? I asked. Did you study at the
Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome?" said Francis to a
laughing audience. "No, she said. It's because if God did not
forgive, the world could not exist".
In an address usually devoted to commenting on world
affairs, Francis, whose parents immigrated to Argentina from
Piedmont, instead opted to talk about his Italian roots and
divulge more details about his papal name.
"I chose the name of the patron saint of Italy, Francis of
Assisi, to strengthen my spiritual link with this land where as
you know my family origins come from," he said, as numerous
Romans nodded in approval and replied, "bravo, bravo".
It was a master stroke from a man who has been enchanting
his Roman flock virtually since the moment he was named pope on
Wednesday evening, when as a first order of business he asked
the people beneath the balcony of St Peter's Basilica to first
pray for him before he issued his traditional blessing to the
people.
That same grace was on show Sunday.
"Thank you for your welcome, and for your prayers. Pray for
me," he said before waving goodbye. "Have a happy Sunday. And a
good lunch".

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