General Chapter: General Audience with Pope Francis

audienza con il papa 18-09-13 (3) (Small).jpg

The members of the Chapter along with the other invited members of the Carmelite Family, went to St. Peter’s Square in the morning, for the General Audience with Pope Francis. It was a very moving occasion for all who were there. As he was welcoming the people, Pope Francis turned to the members of the General Chapter with a warm and kindly greeting. In his catechesis the Pope used the image of the mother in order to talk about the Church, in three ways:  A mother helps her children to find the right path and so does the Church, and the ten commandments are part of this love, as a guide in life for every baptised person; a mother stands up for her children, with open arms, and always ready to forgive, no matter what mistakes they may have made, and that’s the way the Church is too, in the way that she forgives and does not judge her children; a mother teaches her children to pray, and to pray incessantly, and so too does the Church by encouraging all her children to pray to untiringly to the  Father.

At the end of the audience Pope Francis had a few moments to spend with the Prior General in which he thanked him for the work of the Order in the Church and reminded him of three important values for Carmelites, prayer, simplicity and austerity.

When the audience was over the Carmelites made their way to the church of S. Maria in Traspontina, where Fr. Giovanni Grosso led the celebration of the Eucharist. A festive lunch was prepared for everybody at the Domus Carmelitana and the rest of the day was free for the Chapter members. The work of the Chapter will begin again tomorrow, Thursday, September 19.