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Pope offers Mass for nuns, risking their lives and giving their lives


Screen shot of Pope Francis' Mass at Casa Santa Marta on March 25, 2020, with the image of the Annunciation in the chapel.

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 03/25/20

For his homily on this feast of the day the Word was made Flesh, Francis offers us the Gospel itself: We are before the Mystery.

Pope Francis allowed the words of the Gospel itself to resound in his homily on the Feast of the Annunciation, noting that what St. Luke wrote in his Gospel would have been what Our Lady herself would have told him.

The Holy Father began the liturgy announcing that two Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, the order that directs the Santa Marta dispensary just some yards from the Casa Santa Marta, would renew their vows, as would all their fellow sisters throughout the world.


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The dispensary has been in the hands of their Congregation for 98 years. There, the sisters provide provide medical assistance to children and families in need. It is located just a stone’s throw away from the pope’s residence inside the Vatican.

I would like to offer the Mass today, for them, for their congregation, who has always cared for the sick and the poorest, as they have done here for 98 years.

He also included in prayer “all women religious who are working at this moment, caring for the sick and also risking their lives and giving their lives.”


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After the proclamation of the Annunciation from the Gospel of Luke, Pope Francis began his homily. He said Luke would have known what had happened “only because the Madonna had told him.”

Listening to Luke, we listened to the Madonna who recounts this mystery. We are before a mystery. Perhaps the best thing we can do right now is to re-read this passage, thinking that it was the Madonna who recounted it.”

The pope then read the entire Gospel for the day once again.

His final words were: “It’s a mystery.”

Before proceeding with the liturgy, the two Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul renewed their vows silently.


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