In his homily at Holy Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae on Tuesday,12 January, Pope Francis said, “The prayers of the faithful, not the pope, bishops, priests or nuns, have the power to make miracles happen in the most impossible situations. Saints, like St Monica, have proven that lives can change if people pray courageously and believe that God “can do everything.”
Reflecting on the day’s first reading(1 Sm 1: 9-20), he recalled Hannah’s tearful prayers to God for a child. “Hannah was praying silently, her lips moved but her voice was not heard. Hers is the courage of a woman of faith who is weeping and grieving and asks the Lord for his grace. There are many good women in the Church, many! They place all their trust in prayer… Let us think of one of them, Saint Monica who was able, with her tears, to be granted the grace of conversion for her son, Saint Augustine. There are so many” the Pope said.
The Pope said that he feels “a certain sympathy” in the reaction of Eli the Priest who at first presumed Hannah whimpering in pain was because she was drunk. Explaining he says – “I find faults in myself that allow me to understand him well and feel close to him.” “How easily – the Pope said – do we judge people and lack the respect to say: ‘I wonder what he has in his heart? I do not know, but I will say nothing…’ When the heart lacks compassion one always thinks evil” and does not understand those who pray “with pain and anguish” and “entrust that pain and anguish to the Lord”.
Pope Francis recalled the story of a man in Buenos Aires who prayed with the same pain and agony. He said he spent an entire night at the gate of the shrine of the Virgin of Luján praying for the grace of healing for his daughter. The next morning when he returned to the hospital,his daughter was restored to health. The Pope said that is proof that “prayer makes miracles” happen.
“Prayer works miracles and wonder; it works miracles for everybody,Christians, whether they be faithful laypeople, priests, bishops. The prayers of the faithful change the Church: it’s not us: the popes, bishops, priests or nuns who work towards moving forward the church, but Saints like (Hannah).The Saints are those who have the courage to face whatever ordeal because they believe God is the Lord and that He can do everything” Pope Francis added.