Pope Francis at Angelus proposes fasting from gossip

After the Angelus the pope lamented another tragic abduction of a large group of girls from a school in Nigeria.

“I join my voice with that of the bishops of Nigeria to condemn the vile abduction of 317 girls, taken away from their school, to Jangebe, in the northwest of the country. I pray for these girls, that they may return home soon.”

Hours later, a number of local news outlets reported that they had been released.

Since Sunday was also World Rare Disease Day, Pope Francis thanked volunteer organizations for helping families who care for these patients.

“In the case of rare diseases the support network among family members, favored by these associations, is more important than ever. It helps not to feel alone and to exchange experiences and advice.”

The pope then offered some advice for Lent, a time dedicated to prayer, fasting and penance.

“This Lent I will not speak ill of others. I will not gossip…. And we can all do this, everyone. This is a good fast. And do not forget that it will also be helpful to read a passage of the Gospel, to carry a small Gospel in your pocket, in your purse, and pick it up when you can, any passage. This will make the heart open to the Lord.”

This was the pope’s first public appearance after the spiritual exercises he completed last week at his residence, Casa Santa Marta.



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