Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Wednesday 12 May |
Saint of the Day: St. Pancras

“May the Lord give me the grace to cry”: Pope will pray, not speak at Auschwitz

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 06/30/16

From CNS:

Tears and not words. Prayers and not greetings. During his trip to Poland for World Youth Day, Pope Francis will go to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi death camp. He said he wants to go alone and say nothing.

When Pope Francis speaks, he can delight fans and frustrate critics. He can wax poetic or be bluntly funny about human quirks.

But in the face of great suffering and horror, his first and strongest inclinations are silence, a profoundly bowed head and hands clasped tightly in prayer.

Pope Francis had asked that there be no speeches during his visit to Armenia’s genocide memorial June 25. At times, even the prayer service there with the Armenian Apostolic patriarch seemed too wordy. An aide gently cupped his elbow when it was time to end the silent reflection and begin the service.

The Vatican’s schedule for the Pope’s visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau July 29 had him giving a speech at the international monument at Birkenau, just as St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI did.

But on the flight back to Rome from Armenia, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, told Pope Francis, “I heard that you want to live that moment more with silence than words.”

The Pope responded by reminding reporters that in 2014 when he went to Redipuglia in northern Italy to mark the 100th anniversary of World War I, “I went in silence,” walking alone among the graves. “Then there was the Mass and I preached at Mass, but that was something else.”

Speaking about his planned visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau, “I would like to go to that place of horror without speeches, without crowds – only the few people necessary,” he said. “Alone, enter, pray. And may the Lord give me the grace to cry.”

Read more. 

Photo: Wikipedia

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 Aleteia.org 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
1
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
2
SAINTS
Meg Hunter-Kilmer
Saints to help if Mother’s Day is hard
3
MOTHER OF ASIA - TOWER OF PEACE
J-P Mauro
Philippines finishes construction of largest Marian statue in the...
4
MOTHER SHORT FILM
Zoe Romanowsky
Moving 1-minute film about motherhood will touch your heart
5
FIRST LOOK
Sarah Robsdottir
Dad’s priceless reaction to newborn goes viral
6
PRAY
Philip Kosloski
3 Signs of a spiritual attack on your soul
7
I.Media for Aleteia
These 30 shrines will lead the Rosary Relay for end of the pandem...
See More