(Vatican Radio) Pope
Francis said on Sunday that “No human
condition constitutes grounds for exclusion
from the heart of the Father.”
The Pope was speaking
during the Angelus prayer in St. Peter’s
Square on the day upon which we mark the
International Day of Leprosy.
The only privilege in the
eyes of God – Pope Francis told the crowds
gathered in St. Peter’s Square - is to have
no privileges and to be abandoned in His
And calling on all men and
women to guard themselves against the
temptation of treating religion as a human
investment and of thinking they can
“bargain” with God seeking to obtain their
own interests, the Pope urged the faithful
to open their hearts to the Lord and to his
Pope Francis reflected on
the Gospel reading of the day in which
Jesus, speaking at the Synagogue, mentions
great prophets like Elijah and Elisha who
were not given credit, and then he himself
is driven out of town “but passed through
the midst of them and went away”.
He said that the Scripture
passage is fulfilled today as it was during
the time of Jesus.
And he reminded the
faithful that God the Father cares for all
his creatures, even the smallest and the
most insignificant in the eyes of men and
that it is always He who takes the first
step: “comes to visit us with his mercy,
raises us from the dust of our sins”.
God – Pope Francis said –
“holds out His hand to draw us back from the
abyss into which we have been driven by our
pride, and invites us to welcome the
consoling truth of the Gospel and to walk on
the right paths: He always comes to looking
for us” and no human condition constitutes
grounds for exclusion from His heart.
After the Marian prayer,
the Pope turned his attention to the World
Day of Leprosy.
A "disease – he said -
that while being in regression,
unfortunately still affects the poorest and
And stressing the fact
that it is important to show solidarity to
these brothers and sisters who are disabled
as a result of this disease, the Pope
assured them of his prayers and pledged his
support to those who assist them.
Pope Francis also had a
special greeting for a group of boys and
girls of the Italian Catholic Action
movement from the Diocese of Rome.
Commending them for having
just passed through the Holy Door of Mercy,
he encouraged them to be instruments of
peace and mercy among their peers.
Finally, the launch of
coloured balloons symbolizing peace and a
request that has become customary from Pope
Francis but that never fails to touch one’s
heart: “Please do not forget to pray for