13 june, 2017
Ângelo Bagnasco says that is “time of the awakening” and challenges Christians to fight for the coming back of the Western humanity
The Archbishop of Genoa presided over the second International Anniversary Pilgrimage of the Centennial year of the Apparitions with the theme “Glory to you, Queen of Peace”
The Archbishop of Genoa and president of the Council of the Bishop’s Conferences of Europe (CCEE) said that it’s time for the Christians to wake up and proclaim their faith. “Dear friends, the history we live in has many clouds but it’s time of the awakening. The western civilization seems to be losing its own humanity, searching for illusions, which make many promises but turn to deteriorate. The world proclaims life but sows the seed of death. It announces solidarity but closes itself, preaches love but it is selfish” stated Ângelo Bagnasco during the homily of the International Mass of the Anniversary Pilgrimage of June, in the Shrine of Fatima. To the Genoese Cardinal, the world lives today a similar situation it lived one hundred years ago and people “start to question themselves about the future of the world, about life’s fate”.
“Like on that 13th of October, 1917, flashes of light started to be seen, questions of great importance start to arise in the hearts of mankind, the need for the truth, the desire of love and goodness. This is the awakening that already started and is not going to stop” pointed out the President of CCEE.
Ângelo Bagnasco highlighted the importance of the response of Fatima in this context “of troubles and hopes”. “In Fatima, we breath faith! Where is the Mother, there is the Son, the encounter is more intense, the charity grows, the faith is clearer and pure: purer because is more essential” he noted.
“We are here as pilgrims with our worries and hopes, but we’re also here as people of God who represents the Church spread all over the world; moreover, at the feet of the Virgin, we want to bring the anguishes and demands of all the lost and suffering humanity, who need love and light” he added.
About the place and the event of Fatima, Cardinal Ângelo Bagnasco stated that in the message delivered by Our Lady to the Christians one finds the answers to their salvation and to the world’s salvation as well.
“Why do people come to Fatima? Because the human heart needs words of eternal life, because we all want a mother who encourages us and guides us, because mankind seeks the redemption of its own weaknesses, because mankind is fascinated with the light that shines within the darkness, because it is attracted by the prayer that reveals who we are, small before the majesty of God, and taken under the care of the sacrifice of Christ” he said.
“Redemption and sin, light and darkness, prayer and conversion, love, sacrifice, eternal salvation...isn't this the essence of the faith? And isn't this the Message of Fatima, the path of Christian life? In the light of the little shepherds’ life, isn't the outcome of these words the peace of heart and joy of the soul, whatever the circumstances might be?”, he questioned.
“In Fatima, the sun keeps shining, the light that emerges from the Holy Virgin: Jesus Christ” concluded the Archbishop of Genoa.
Yesterday, in the International Mass, after the candlelight procession, Ângelo Bagnasco said that Christians must reject the danger of the disfigurement of the faith. “To disfigure the faith means to disfigure the face of Jesus, it means to take from the Gospel the backbone of the grace, of the supernatural life, is to reduce it to a manual of human knowledge. The apparitions of Our Lady invite us to the heart of the faith, without which, life would be absorbed by the world’s logic.” He said.
The Italian Cardinal that proclaimed his speech in Portuguese, mentioned the recent canonization of the little Shepherds, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, presided by Pope Francis on the May 13th, and spoke about a Shrine “as large as the world”.
“In Fatima, everything happens in the light: the lightning, the light above the tree, the miracle of the Sun... everything is bright. Even the most serious words and the most demanding messages illuminate the faith, the life of the Church, the history of the world”, he pointed out.
The President of the CCEE, emphasized the importance of two words in Cova de Iria, “prayer and Penitence”.
“Today, there is a certain way of telling the news that makes us believe that everything is gloomy and that there is no hope. But the reality is different: if we look closely, we will see the actions of God” he said.
Ângelo Bagnasco supported that the prayer and penitence recommended by Our Lady is not a sad and dark view of the world and life but they express the integrity of God’s love for us, work of his hands”.
The Genoese Archbishop asked the pilgrims not to follow the “way the world thinks” but to trust in the promise left by the Virgin Mary in Fatima, whose “heart already secretly triumphs in so many hearts”: it is the triumph of Bethlehem, of Nazareth, of the Calvary, it is a secret triumph, but not less glorious, fascinating and effective”.
The second International Anniversary Pilgrimage of the Year of the Centennial of the Apparitions, with the theme “Glory to you, Queen of Peace”, brought to Fatima a large group of Italian pilgrims and was considered the National Pilgrimage of Italy to the Shrine of Fatima. 23 groups of Italians were registered at the Pilgrims Department, 1620 Italian pilgrims in total. Besides the Italian groups, more 141 groups were registered with a total of 6623 pilgrims from 37 countries: United States, Poland, Vietnam, Philippines, South Korea, Singapore, Mauritius and others.