It's a day of feasts, from Our Lady, to men and women of God who have left us a legacy that echoes around the world
Being a Catholic means being part of a global family — in fact, the word catholic means universal.
At the May 8 general audience, in greetings to various language groups, the pope offered a look at the beauty of this global family, pointing out some of the holy men and women from around the planet who are celebrated today or in recent days.
He mentioned that on Saturday, in Mexico City, a mother of nine was beatified. Blessed Maria de la Concepción Cabrera is the first Mexican laywoman to be raised to the altars, and some people believe she might one day be proclaimed a doctor of the Church.
The pope spoke of her as “a wife and mother who bore witness to the salvific value of the Cross of Christ” and “inspired the foundation of various religious and lay institutions.”
Read more about her here:
Then turning to French-speakers, the pope mentioned how Jean Vanier, the founder of L’Arche, passed away Tuesday at age 90. Born of Canadian parents, Vanier dedicated his life to the mentally and physically disabled.
The Holy Father spoke of him as “a great man of the Church,” and noted how his work at the service of life reached to the unborn who are diagnosed with birth defects or disabilities and thus often aborted. “He worked for the poorest, for the most discarded, even for those who were condemned to death in the womb of their mother,” Francis said. “Sometimes they try to convince parents to reject them and not let them be born. He welcomed them and gave them life. May Jean Vanier continue to be an example to all of us, a help from heaven!”
Moving on to Poland, Francis noted that today is the feast of that country’s patron, Saint Stanislaus, bishop and martyr.
The pope said the saint is a “point of reference, in decisions and in deeds, and in the face of the challenges of our times.”
Calling on an Italian devotion, the pope noted that today “we pray the supplication to the Virgin of Pompeii. We are in spiritual union with those who, in that Marian shrine, as in any other place, will meet at noon to pray with faith the supplication to Our Lady, so that she may return her gaze to the world and intercede for the whole Church and for those who suffer in body and in spirit.”
See more about the interesting history of this shrine here:
And finally, referring to his own homeland, the pope noted that today in Argentina the faithful celebrate the Solemnity of Our Lady of Luján. “Let us all pray for Argentina,” he said.
Learn more about Our Lady of Lujan here: