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One word to describe my pontificate? Grace, says Pope Francis 


Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

Isabella H. de Carvalho - published on 03/14/23

In an interview, Pope Francis talks about how he feels God supports him in his mission and that he needs our prayers.

In an interview with Swiss television and radio station RSI, broadcast on March 12, 2023, Pope Francis spoke about his need for prayers and the grace he feels he has received from God to help him fulfill his ministry.

On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of his pontificate on March 13, Francis spoke to multiple journalists. Over the course of four days the Pope gave interviews to 3 Argentinian media outlets, 1 Italian news site, 1 Swiss TV and radio network, and spoke on a podcast with the Vatican’s official media, Vatican News.

In responding to a question on how he would describe the decade of his pontificate in one word, Pope Francis said simply “grace.”

It is “the grace of God that does everything. I didn’t think I would be doing this. I feel every day that the Lord helps me, if I am open. If I close myself he does not help me,” the Pontiff said, adding he feels God is close to him.

The head of the Catholic Church described “three attributes” that characterize God : “closeness, mercy, and tenderness.” 

“God is always close to us, always. Even close to the worst sinners and delinquents: He is near, waiting. He is merciful. […] And God is tender. God’s tenderness is a beautiful thing,” Francis explained. 

The Pope says he needs your prayers

However, to receive this grace and be open to God, Pope Francis highlighted how he needs people to pray for him, and he encourages even those who are not Catholic. When the journalist asked the Pontiff if he felt “the need to receive prayers,” he replied, “Yes, please. Because I can’t do it alone.”

“I am sure everyone prays. To nonbelievers I say: Pray for me, and if you don’t pray send me good vibes,” the Pope said.

“An atheist friend wrote [this] to me: ‘… and I send you good vibes.’ It is a pagan way of praying, but it is caring for one another. This is also a prayer: To love one another is a prayer.”

Pope FrancisSpiritual LifeVatican
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