“I think about so many brothers and sisters who are estranged from their families; they don’t speak to each other. Let the Year of Mercy be the time to end all family feuds, to forgive each other and let bygones be bygones” the Pontiff said.
His words came during his traditional Wednesday general audience at St Peter’s Square today.
“This Year of Mercy is a good occasion to meet up again, to embrace each other and forgive each other, to leave bad things behind,” he continued.
During the general audience, St. Peter’s Square was converted into a giant circus venue as circus performers performed a series acrobatic tricks to keep Pope Francis and thousands of pilgrims present entertained.
Expressing his gratitude, Pope Francis said, “I greet the circus performers and I thank them for their very welcome exhibition.” He went on to say, “You are champions of beauty: you make beauty, and beauty is good for the soul.”
“Beauty brings us closer to God, but behind this spectacle of beauty, how many hours of training there are! Go forward, keep it up!” he added.
After the performance, Pope Francis continued his speech dedicated to divine mercy, recounting God’s faithfulness and mercy towards his people, he said:
“God never ignored the Israelites’ cry of suffering and he sent Moses as a “mediator” on his behalf to free his people and lead them to salvation. We can do this work, too, during this Year of Mercy, of being mediators of mercy with works of mercy, that bring people together, foster unity and offer people comfort and relief. There are so many good things people can do.”
“Mercy can never remain indifferent before the suffering of the oppressed, the cry of those who are exposed to violence, reduced to slavery, condemned to die,” he continued.
God, however, is never indifferent, as he always fixes his gaze upon those in pain and intervenes by helping people become aware of and involved in the lives of those who suffer and are oppressed, he said.
Speaking to Pilgrims from the Middle East who are constant victims of persecutions at the hands of terrorists, he said:
“God always “intervenes and gives, with his mercy, salvation and assistance.” “He practices patience with the sinner in order to bring about conversion and he seeks the lost until they return because he ‘wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth.”
He prayed on their behalf for God’s continued guidance and protection from every evil.