In his first Angelus message from Castel Gandolfo, Pope Francis said God desires “good and generous” hearts full of mercy for those in need.
In the parable of the Good Samaritan, said Pope Francis, “Jesus shows that the heart of this Samaritan is good and generous and that – unlike the priest and Levite – he practices the will of God, who desires mercy more than sacrifice.”
“God always wants this: mercy,” added the Pope, expanding on his prepared remarks. “God well knows our pain, our difficulties, and even our sins! (Yet) he gives us his merciful heart. And this – what the Samaritan did – shows God’s own compassion: mercy towards those who are in need.”
Pope Francis linked the parable to the crowd of around 5,000 pilgrims gathered at Castel Gandolfo by recalling St. Camillo de Lellis, founder of the Order of Ministers to the Sick and patron of the sick and healthcare workers, whose feast day is July 14.
“With great affection I greet all the spiritual sons and daughters of St. Camillo, who live his charism of charity in daily contact with the sick. You are like good Samaritans!” he said.
Pope Francis also recalled the 70th anniversary of the Volonia massacre in which tens of thousands of Poles and thousands of Ukrainians were killed.
“I entrust the souls of the victims to the mercy of God and ask for their peoples, the grace of a profound reconciliation and a serene future in hope and in the sincere collaboration for the common building of the Kingdom of God.”
He closed with a greeting to the various groups there, and as is his custom, wished everyone a “good lunch.”
The Pope delivered his remarks from the doorway of the papal residence in Castel Gandalfo, where crowds of cheering pilgrims and locals were gathered.
Unlike his recent predecessors Benedict XVI and John Paul II, Francis will not remain at the papal villa for the summer.
Instead, he will continue to live in Rome’s hotter climate, but with a limited schedule. All public and private audiences have been cancelled for July and August.
Before his Angelus remarks, Pope Francis met with the staff of the papal residence in order to thank them for their work and ask for their continued prayers. He exhorted them to “be signs of hope and peace” in the world, like Benedict XVI and John Paul II, who stayed in Castel Gandolfo every summer.
“Their testimony,” he stated, “will always be an encouragement in daily fidelity to Christ and the continuous efforts to conduct a life consistent with the demands of the Gospel and the teachings of the Church.”
Pope Francis will return to Castel Gandolfo on August 15 to celebrate the Mass for the Feast of the Assumption in a local parish. At noon on the same day, he will deliver the Angelus from the papal residence.