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Let’s begin in Rome with a quick summary of the Pope’s homily from St. Peter’s Basilica yesterday, where he celebrated Mass for the solemn feast of the Epiphany of the Lord.
“To follow Jesus”, the Pope said,”one must set out like the Magi, leaving comfort behind, following the light and offering the Lord’s gifts without expecting anything in return”. In his homily, yesterday the Pope asked people to think about the Three Kings, and why, no one else seemed to see and follow the star to Bethlehem and he also asked them to think about what star they choose to follow in their lives. “Following the star”, the Pope said, “requires the freeing oneself from useless burdens and unnecessary extras that only prove a hindrance, and to accept the unforeseen obstacles in the map of life. If we want to find Jesus, we have to overcome our fear of taking risks, our self-satisfaction and our indolent refusal to ask anything more of life.”
And earlier today, the Pope met with the members of the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See, exchanging New Year’s greetings. In his annual speech to diplomats, the Pope insisted respect for human rights must begin with respect for human life. I have for you a quick look at how that encounter went.
To celebrate the Feast day of the Epiphany, over 1.2 million people in Poland took part in the “March of the Three Kings” on Saturday. This March is one of the countries largest events that celebrates Poland’s 100th anniversary of regained independence.
Under the theme, “God is for everyone”, people from over 660 cities and towns in Poland, participated in the event. This year, the Three Kings March was not only representative of three continents, but also of three generations: the young, which meets God, the family, and seniors. The biggest part of the March passed through the streets of Warsaw to Pilsudski Square, where the Kings bowed down and handed the gifts to the Infant Jesus at a live nativity scene organized by the Zagle School.
Here in Canada, the famous relic of St. Francis Xavier is in the country making a 14-city, cross-country tour until February 2nd. The hand that is said to have baptized over a 100,000 people is considered an incorrupt, first-class relic of one of the Catholic Church’s greatest missionaries and evangelists. The visit is organized by the Archdiocese of Ottawa, the Canadian Jesuits and a national university student movement, Catholic Christian Outreach.
One of the main organizers, Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa, reminds us that “Saint Francis Xavier is one of the most revered saints of all time. He was a man of extraordinary courage and faith who shared the Gospel message of Jesus with thousands across southeast Asia, Goa andIndia.
Permanently displayed at the Church of the Gesù in Rome, organizers believe this is the first time the relic has been on Canadian soil. His body, which is buried in Goa, India, as well as the relic of his arm are incorrupt, which means they have not experienced natural decay since his death in 1552.
The relic will travel across the country and to check to see if it will visit a parish near you, can visit the CCO website listed below.
That is all that for today. Join us again tomorrow when I bring you news and stories from the Perspective of a Catholic lens.