Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Sunday 26 September |
Saint of the Day: Sts Cosmas and Damian
home iconChurch
line break icon

Pope prays that USA carry on in ‘culture of encounter, care’

Photo by Handout / VATICAN MEDIA / AFP

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 01/10/21

Francis remembers the five who died in the events of January 6 at the Capitol.

Pope Francis made special mention of the United States after praying the midday Angelus on January 10, four days after the country was jolted by images of a mob entering the US Capitol building as Congress was in the process of certifying the election of Joseph Biden.

The Holy Father said he sends an “affection greeting” to the people of the United States, “shaken by the recent siege of Congress.”

He first of all assured his prayers for the five people who lost their lives in the midst of “those dramatic moments.”

The pope continued:

I repeat that violence is always self-destructive. Nothing is gained with violence and so much is lost. I urge government authorities and the entire population to maintain a deep sense of responsibility, in order to soothe souls, to promote national reconciliation and to protect the democratic values ​​rooted in American society. May the Immaculate Virgin, patroness of the United States of America, help to keep alive the culture of encounter, the culture of caring [for one another], as the royal road to build together the common good; and do it with all those who live in that land.

WEB2-CAPITOLE-UNITED STATES-AFP-075_nacion-uspresid210106_npyIS.jpg

Read more:
Bishop Barron calls for national examination of conscience

A “culture of encounter” is one of Pope Francis’ key phrases, and he has often appealed for it. In a morning homily in Casa Santa Marta in 2016 on the Gospel passage where Jesus raises the son of the widow of Nain, he described what he envisions with a “culture of encounter”:

Not just seeing, but looking; not just hearing, but listening; not just passing people by, but stopping with them; not just saying “what a shame, poor people!” but allowing yourself to be moved with compassion; “and then to draw near, to touch and to say: ‘Do not weep’ and to give at least a drop of life.”

It’s been a characteristic phrase of the Holy Father’s since the very beginning of his pontificate. It is in contrast to another phase he uses frequently, the “throw-away culture,” by which he refers to the tendency to see human beings as disposable, including for example, the elderly, the unborn, the disabled, the poor, etc.

[Article updated]

Pope FrancisUnited States
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
J-P Mauro
Chicago architect models Vatican City from 67,000 LEGO bricks
Cecilia Pigg
7 Ways the saints can help you sleep better at night
Philip Kosloski
Why J.R.R. Tolkien loved to attend daily Mass
The Sinai Peninsula and the Dead Sea Rift
J-P Mauro
Experts now believe Sodom was destroyed by a meteor
Bret Thoman, OFS
Exclusive photos: Meet Padre Pio and the place he lived
Philip Kosloski
How Our Lady saved Padre Pio from a violent demonic attack
Cerith Gardiner
9 Padre Pio quotes for when you’re feeling scared or uncertain
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.