Saint Kateri Tekakwitha
Saint Kateri Tekakwitha
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Pope Francis: Quotes on Ecology and the Environment
There Must Be Greater Respect for Creation
Today, new challenges arise which must be faced. In a
world that tends to economic and cultural globalization,
every effort must be made to ensure that growth and
development are put at the service of all and not just
limited parts of the population. Furthermore, such
development will only be authentic if it is sustainable and
just, that is, if it has the rights of the poor and respect for
the environment close to heart. Alongside the globalization
of the markets there must also be a corresponding
globalization of solidarity; together with economic growth
there must be a greater respect for creation; alongside the
rights of individuals, there must be the guaranteed rights
of those who are a bridge between the individual and the
state, the family being the first and foremost of such institutions.
+ Pope Francis, Apostolic Journey of His Holiness Pope Francis to Tirana (Albania), Meeting with the Civil
Authorities, September 21, 2014
War is Madness
After experiencing the beauty of traveling throughout this region, where men and women work and raise their
families, where children play and the elderly dream… I now find myself here, in this place, able to say only one
thing: War is madness.
Whereas God carries forward the work of creation, and we men and women are called to participate in his work,
war destroys. It also ruins the most beautiful work of his hands: human beings. War ruins everything, even the
bonds between brothers. War is irrational; its only plan is to bring destruction: it seeks to grow by destroying...
Humanity needs to weep, and this is the time to weep.
+ Pope Francis, Mass at the Italian Military Memorial of Redipuglia, September 13, 2014
Strengthen Our Efforts
I hope that everyone – institutions, associations, and citizens – will strengthen their efforts, so as to safeguard the
life and health of people by respecting the environment and nature.
+Pope Francis, Angelus, August 31, 2014
Tyrannical Use of Nature
Isn't humanity committing suicide with this indiscriminate and tyrannical use of nature?
+ Pope Francis, from an interview in the Argentine weekly "Viva", published July 27, 2014
Put God First
How is the kingdom of God possessed? On this point, Jesus is very clear: enthusiasm, the joy of discovery, is not
enough. The precious pearl of the kingdom should precede every other earthly good; we must put God first in our
lives, prefer Him to everything. Giving primacy to God means having the courage to say no to evil, violence,
oppression, living a life of service to others and in favor of the law and the common good. When a person finds
God, the true treasure, they leave a selfish lifestyle and look to share with others the love that comes from God.
Whoever becomes a friend of God loves his brothers, is committed to safeguarding their lives and their health, also
respecting the environment and nature. I know that you suffer for these things. Today, when I arrived, one of you
has approached me and said: Father, give us hope. But I cannot give you hope, I can tell you that where Jesus is,
there is hope; where there is Jesus, each person loves all other persons like brothers, committed to safeguarding
their lives and their health and also respecting the environment and nature. This is the hope which never
disappoints, the one that Jesus gives! This is particularly important in your beautiful land that needs to be
protected and preserved. It requires you to have the courage to say no to any form of corruption and lawlessness,
it requires everyone to be servants of the truth and to assume every situation in the style of the living Gospel,
which is manifested in the gift of self and attention to the poor and the excluded.
+ Pope Francis, Homily at Mass in Caserta, July 26, 2014
God Is Our Strength
We must accept the fragility of life, and cultivate the trust that only in God is our strength.
+ Pope Francis, video message to the patients and staff of the Gemelli Hospital in Rome, July 13, 2014
One of the Greatest Challenges of Our Time
I fully agree with what has been said about “safeguarding” the earth, so that it bear fruit without being “exploited”.
This is one of the greatest challenges of our time: converting ourselves to a development that respects creation. In
America, my homeland, I see many forests, which have been stripped, that become land that cannot be cultivated,
that cannot give life. This is our sin: we exploit the earth and do not let it give us what it harbors within, with the
help of our cultivation.
+ Pope Francis, Address on 'World of Work' at University of Campobasso, July 5, 2014
Dignity of the Human Person
It is necessary to place the dignity of the human person at the center of every prospect and every action. Other
interests, even if legitimate, are secondary. At the center is the dignity of the human person. Why? Because the
human person is in the image of God, he was created in the image of God, and we are all in the image of God!
+ Pope Francis, July 5, 2014
The Church is the people who serve the Lord. For this, it is the people who experience his freedom and live in this
freedom that He gives. The Lord always gives true freedom. First of all, the freedom from sin, from selfishness in
all its forms: the freedom to give of oneself and to do so with joy, like the Virgin of Nazareth, who is free from
herself, she does not close in on herself in her condition – and she would have had reason! – but thinks of those
who, in that moment, have greater need. She is free in the freedom of God, which is realized in love. And this is
the freedom that God has given us and we must not lose it: the freedom to adore God, to serve God and to serve
him even in our brothers and sisters.
This is the freedom that, by the grace of God, we experience in the Christian community, when we put ourselves at
each other’s service, without jealousy, without taking sides, without chatter… Serving one another. Serving! Then
the Lord frees us from ambition and rivalry, which undermine unity and communion. He frees us from distrust,
sadness – look, this sadness is dangerous because it casts us down. It casts us down. It’s dangerous. Be careful.
He frees us from fear, internal emptiness, isolation, regret, and complaints. ...we are called to live our faith with
joy and courage, communion with God and with our brothers, adoration of God, and to face with strength the
labors and trials of life.
+ Pope Francis, July 5, 2014, Homily at Mass in Campobasso
Dialogue With the Sciences
It is only right that men and women everywhere should have access to research and scientific training. The hope
that one day all peoples will be able to enjoy the benefits of science is one which spurs all of us on, scientists in
The Vatican Observatory School in Astrophysics is thus a place where young people the world over can engage in
dialogue and collaboration, helping one another in the search for truth, which in this case is concretized in the
study of galaxies. This simple and practical initiative shows how the sciences can be a fitting and effective means
for promoting peace and justice.
Here too we see a further reason for the Church’s commitment to dialogue with the sciences on the basis of the
light provided by faith: it is her conviction that faith is capable of both expanding and enriching the horizons of
reason. In this dialogue, the Church rejoices in the marvelous progress of science, seeing it as a sign of the
enormous God-given potential of the human mind...
I would also encourage you to share with people in your own countries the knowledge about the universe which
you have acquired. Only a fraction of the global population has access to such knowledge, which opens the heart
and the mind to the great questions which human beings have always asked: Where do we come from? Where are
we going? Does this universe made up of hundreds of millions of galaxies have any meaning? ... The search for an
answer to these questions can lead us to an encounter with the Creator, the loving Father, for “in him we live and
move and have our being”.
+ Pope Francis, June 26, 2014, Address of His Holiness Pope Francis to Participants in the Summer Course of the
Humble Charity to Help Others
...the corrupt politicians, the corrupt businessmen, and the corrupt clergy, are to be found everywhere – and we
have to tell the truth: corruption is precisely the sin that the person with authority – whether political, economic,
or ecclesiastical – over others has most readily at hand. We are all tempted to corruption. It is a “handy” sin, for,
when one has authority, one feels powerful, one feels almost like God...
The only way to escape corruption, the only way to overcome the temptation to – the sin of – corruption, is
service... Corruption is pride, arrogance – and service humiliates you. [It is] humble charity to help others.
+ Mass in Santa Marta, June 16, 2014
After the Dark Comes the Sun
Be courageous in suffering and remember that after, the Lord will come; after, joy will come, after the dark comes
We must tell the truth: Christian life is not just one big party. Not at all! ... We cry, we cry so many times: when
we are sick; when we have a problem with our son, in the family, with our daughter, or wife, or husband; when we
see that our salary does not reach the end of the month and we have a sick child; when we see that we cannot pay
the mortgage on the house and we must somehow survive ... So many problems, we have so many. But Jesus tells
us: “Do not be afraid!”...
Be courageous in suffering and remember that after, the Lord will come; after, joy will come, after the dark comes
the sun. May the Lord give us all this joy in hope.
+ Pope Francis, Morning Homily: Christian Joy is Gift
Renew the Face of the Earth!
It is a great gift that the Lord has given us by bringing us together here in the Upper Room for the celebration of
the Eucharist. ...
From here the Church goes forth, impelled by the life-giving breath of the Spirit. Gathered in prayer with the
Mother of Jesus, the Church lives in constant expectation of a renewed outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Send forth
your Spirit, Lord, and renew the face of the earth!
+ Pope Francis, Homily in the Upper Room, Jerusalem, 26 May 2014
We are Custodians of Creation
We are Custodians of Creation. But when we exploit Creation we destroy the sign of God’s love for us, in destroying
Creation we are saying to God: “I don’t like it! This is not good!” “So what do you like?” “I like myself!” – Here, this
is sin! Do you see? Custody of Creation is custody of God’s gift to us and it is also a way of saying thank you to
God. I am the master of Creation but to carry it forward I will never destroy your gift. And this should be our
attitude towards Creation. Safeguard Creation. Because if we destroy Creation, Creation will destroy us! Never
+ Pope Francis, General Audience, May 21, 2014
Enlightened by the Spirit
Today I want to highlight another gift of the Holy Spirit, the gift of knowledge. When we speak of knowledge, we
immediately think of the human capacity to learn more about the reality that surrounds him and to discover the
laws that govern nature and the universe. The knowledge that comes from the Holy Spirit, however, is not limited
to human knowledge: it is a special gift, which allows us to grasp, through Creation, the greatness and love of God
and His profound relationship with every creature.
When our eyes are enlightened by the Spirit, they open to the contemplation of God in the beauty of nature and
the grandeur of the cosmos, and lead us to discover how everything speaks to us of Him and everything speaks to
us of His love. All this arouses astonishment and a deep sense of gratitude in us!
+ Pope Francis, General Audience, May 21, 2014
The Gift of Fortitude
There are difficult moments and extreme situations in which the gift of fortitude is manifested in an extraordinary,
exemplary way. This is the case of those who are facing particularly harsh and painful experiences, that disrupt
their lives and those of their loved ones. The Church shines with the testimony of so many brothers and sisters
who have not hesitated to give their lives, in order to remain faithful to the Lord and His Gospel. Even today there
are numerous Christians in many parts of the world who continue to celebrate and witness to their faith with deep
conviction and serenity, and resist even when they know that this can result in them paying a very high price. All of
us know people, people who have experienced difficult situations, so much pain, let us think of those men and
women who have a difficult life, who fight for the survival of their family, educate their children. They do this
because the Spirit of fortitude helps them. How many, many men and women – whose names we do not know –
honor our people, honor our Church because they are strong in carrying forward their lives, their work, their
family, their faith – these our brothers and sisters are saints! Everyday saints! Hidden saints among us! They have
the gift of fortitude in carrying on in their duty as people, mother, father, brother, sister, citizen. We have so many,
so many. Let us thank the Lord for these Christians who are the hidden saints among us...
In our everyday life, in difficult times it would do us good to say this: “I have the strength for everything through
him who empowers me”. The Lord always gives us strength, Lord never gives us more than we can handle, “I have
the strength for everything through him who empowers me”.
+ Pope Francis, Audience: The gift of fortitude, May 14, 2014
It is necessary to emphasize the right of children to grow up within a family, with a father and a mother able to
create a suitable environment for their development and emotional maturity. Continuing to mature in the
relationship, in the complementarity of the masculinity and femininity of a father and a mother, and thus preparing
the way for emotional maturity...
Working for human rights presupposes keeping anthropological formation alive, being well-prepared regarding the
reality of the human person, and knowing how to respond to the problems and challenges posed by contemporary
cultures and mentalities that are spread by the mass media.
+ Pope Francis, April 11, 2014, speaking to a delegation from the International Catholic Child Bureau
The Gospel of Easter
The Gospel of Easter is very clear: we need to go back there, to see Jesus risen, and to become witnesses of his
resurrection. This is not to go back in time; it is not a kind of nostalgia. It is returning to our first love, in order to
receive the fire which Jesus has kindled in the world and to bring that fire to all people, to the very ends of the
+ Pope Francis, April 19, 2014
Christ Gives Meaning to Suffering
Holy Week begins tomorrow. It culminates in the Triduum of the Passion, the Death, and the Resurrection of Jesus.
Here He takes on human suffering in its totality, which is then redeemed by God. By God-Love. Only Christ gives
meaning to the scandal of innocent suffering. So many times Dostoyevsky’s anguished query comes to mind: why
do children suffer? Only Christ can give meaning to this “scandal”. You too can look to Him, crucified and
resurrected, in your daily work. And at the foot of Jesus’s Cross we also meet Our Lady of Sorrows. She is the
Mother of all humanity, and she is always close to her sick and suffering children. If our faith wavers, hers does
+ Pope Francis, address to the Society of Oncological Surgery, April 12, 2014
Trust in God
Only trust in God can transform doubts into certainty, evil into good, night into radiant dawn.
+ Pope Francis on Twitter, April 2014
Freedom of Conscience
Even today, there is the idolatry of a narrow line of thought. Today we have to think in this way and if you do not
think in this way, you are not modern, you're not open or worse. Often rulers say: “I have asked for aid, financial
support for this”, “But if you want this help, you have to think in this way and you have to pass this law, and this
other law and this other law…” Even today there is a dictatorship of a narrow line of thought and this dictatorship is
the same as these people: it takes up stones to stone the freedom of the people, the freedom of the people, their
freedom of conscience, the relationship of the people with God. Today Jesus is Crucified once again.
+ Pope Francis, March 10, 2014
The Gift of Wisdom
The first gift of the Holy Spirit, according to this traditional list, is wisdom. It is not merely human wisdom, no, the
fruit of knowledge and experience...
This is wisdom: it is the grace of being able to see everything with the eyes of God. It is simply this: Seeing the
world… situations, conjunctures, problems, everything with God’s eyes. This is wisdom. Often we see things as we
want to see them or according to our heart, with love, with hate, with envy… no this is not God’s eyes. Wisdom is
what the Holy Spirit does within us so that we can see everything with God’s eyes. This is the gift of wisdom...
Let us ask for this grace of wisdom today. Let us ask Our Lady, who is the Seat of Wisdom, for this gift.
+ Pope Francis, General Audience, April 9, 2014
Christ is not resigned to the sepulchres that we have constructed with our choices of evil and death, with our
mistakes, with our sins. He is not resigned to this! He invites us, almost orders us, to come out from the tombs
into which our sins have plunged us. He calls us insistently to come out of the darkness of the prison in which we
are enclosed, contenting ourselves with a false, selfish, mediocre life. “Come forth!” He says. “Come forth!” It is a
beautiful invitation to true freedom, to allow us to grab onto these words of Jesus that He repeats to each one of
us today, an invitation that allows us to free ourselves from the “bands,” from the bands of pride. Because pride
makes us slaves, slaves of ourselves, slaves of so many idols, slaves of so many things. Our resurrection begins
here: when we decide to obey the commands of Jesus to come into the light, to life; when the masks fall from our
faces — so many times we are masked by sin: the masks must fall! — and we rediscover the courage of our
original faces, created in the image and likeness of God.
+ Pope Francis, March 6, 2014
The Sacrament of Marriage
The married couple is the image of God: the man and the woman, not only the man, not only the woman, but
both. This is the image of God: the love, the covenant of God with us is represented in that covenant between man
and woman. And this is very beautiful! We are created to love, as reflection of God and of His love.
When a man and a woman celebrate the Sacrament of Marriage, God, so to speak, is “mirrored” in them, He
imprints in them His own features and the indelible character of His love. Marriage is the icon of God’s love for us.
God, in fact, is also communion: the three Persons of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit have lived
always and forever in perfect unity. And this is in fact the mystery of Marriage: God makes of the two spouses a
single existence. ...
Please, thank you, sorry. With these three words, with the prayer of the husband for his wife and vice versa, with
making peace always before the day ends, the marriage will go forward - the three magical words, prayer, and
always making peace.
+ Pope Francis, General Audience, March 2, 2014
Pope Francis' Prayer Intention for April 2014:
That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Do Not be Afraid of Confession
Someone may say: “I confess only to God.” Yes, you can tell God: “Forgive me”, and say your sins. But our sins are
also against the brothers, against the Church, and for this it is necessary to ask forgiveness to the Church and to
the brothers, in the person of the priest.
Do not be afraid of Confession! One who is in line to confess himself feels all these things - even shame - but then,
when he finishes confessing, he leaves free, great, beautiful, forgiven, happy. And this is the beauty of Confession.
Jesus is there, and Jesus is much better than the priests, and Jesus receives you. He receives you with so much
love. Be courageous, and go forward to Confession.
+ Pope Francis, General Audience, February 19, 2014
Make Room for God
We live in a society that leaves no room for God; day by day this numbs our hearts.
+ Pope Francis, March 29, 2014
We are not God the Creator
We know that this increasingly artificial world would have us live in a culture of “doing”, of the “useful”, where we
exclude God from our horizon without realizing it. But we also exclude the horizon itself! Lent beacons us to “rouse
ourselves”, to remind ourselves that we are creatures, simply put, that we are not God. In the little daily scene, as
I look at some of the power struggles to occupy spaces, I think: these people are playing God the Creator. They
still have not realized that they are not God.
+ Pope Francis, Homily, March 5, 2014
God Continues to Save Mankind
It has been said that the only real regret lies in not being a saint; we could also say that there is only one real kind
of poverty: not living as children of God and brothers and sisters of Christ.
We might think that this “way” of poverty was Jesus’ way, whereas we who come after him can save the world with
the right kind of human resources. This is not the case. In every time and place God continues to save mankind
and the world through the poverty of Christ, who makes himself poor in the sacraments, in his word and in his
Church, which is a people of the poor. ...
Dear brothers and sisters, may this Lenten season find the whole Church ready to bear witness to all those who
live in material, moral, and spiritual destitution the Gospel message of the merciful love of God our Father, who is
ready to embrace everyone in Christ. We can do this to the extent that we imitate Christ who became poor and
enriched us by his poverty. Lent is a fitting time for self-denial; we would do well to ask ourselves what we can
give up in order to help and enrich others by our own poverty.
+ Pope Francis, Lenten Message 2014
The Eucharist is essential for us: it is Christ who wishes to enter our lives and fill us with his grace."
+ Pope Francis, February 28, 2014
Nature Never Forgives
I wish to mention another threat to peace, which arises from the greedy exploitation of environmental resources.
Even if “nature is at our disposition”, all too often we do not “respect it or consider it a gracious gift which we must
care for and set at the service of our brothers and sisters, including future generations”. Here too what is crucial is
responsibility on the part of all in pursuing, in a spirit of fraternity, policies respectful of this earth which is our
common home. I recall a popular saying: “God always forgives, we sometimes forgive, but when nature – creation
– is mistreated, she never forgives!”. We have also witnessed the devastating effects of several recent natural
disasters. In particular, I would mention once more the numerous victims and the great devastation caused in the
Philippines and other countries of Southeast Asia as a result of typhoon Haiyan.
+ Pope Francis, Address to the Members of the Diplomatic Corps Accredited to the Holy See, 13 January 2014
Respect and Protect Creation
I would like us all to make a serious commitment to respect and protect creation, to be attentive to every person,
to counter the culture of waste and disposable, to promote a culture of solidarity and of encounter.
+ Pope Francis, June 5, 2013
Be Attracted by What is Good and Beautiful
On the feast of the Epiphany, as we recall Jesus’ manifestation to humanity in the face of a Child, may we sense
the Magi at our side, as wise companions on the way. Their example helps us to lift our gaze towards the star and
to follow the great desires of our heart. They teach us not to be content with a life of mediocrity, of “playing it
safe”, but to let ourselves be attracted always by what is good, true, and beautiful… by God, who is all of this, and
so much more! And they teach us not to be deceived by appearances, by what the world considers great, wise, and
powerful. We must not stop at that. It is necessary to guard the faith. Today this is of vital importance: to keep the
faith. We must press on further, beyond the darkness, beyond the voices that raise alarm, beyond worldliness,
beyond so many forms of modernity that exist today. We must press on towards Bethlehem, where, in the
simplicity of a dwelling on the outskirts, beside a mother and father full of love and of faith, there shines forth the
Sun from on high, the King of the universe. By the example of the Magi, with our little lights, may we seek the
Light and keep the faith. May it be so.
+ Pope Francis, Epiphany Mass 2014
Fraternity Helps to Preserve and Cultivate Nature
The human family has received from the Creator a common gift: nature. The Christian view of creation includes a
positive judgment about the legitimacy of interventions on nature if these are meant to be beneficial and are
performed responsibly, that is to say, by acknowledging the “grammar” inscribed in nature and by wisely using
resources for the benefit of all, with respect for the beauty, finality and usefulness of every living being and its
place in the ecosystem. Nature, in a word, is at our disposition and we are called to exercise a responsible
stewardship over it. Yet so often we are driven by greed and by the arrogance of dominion, possession,
manipulation and exploitation; we do not preserve nature; nor do we respect it or consider it a gracious gift which
we must care for and set at the service of our brothers and sisters, including future generations.
In a particular way, the agricultural sector is the primary productive sector with the crucial vocation of cultivating
and protecting natural resources in order to feed humanity. In this regard the continuing disgrace of hunger in the
world moves me to share with you the question: How are we using the earth’s resources? Contemporary societies
should reflect on the hierarchy of priorities to which production is directed. It is a truly pressing duty to use the
earth’s resources in such a way that all may be free from hunger. Initiatives and possible solutions are many, and
are not limited to an increase in production. It is well known that present production is sufficient, and yet millions
of persons continue to suffer and die from hunger, and this is a real scandal. We need, then, to find ways by which
all may benefit from the fruits of the earth, not only to avoid the widening gap between those who have more and
those who must be content with the crumbs, but above all because it is a question of justice, equality and respect
for every human being. In this regard I would like to remind everyone of that necessary universal destination of all
goods which is one of the fundamental principles of the Church’s social teaching. Respect for this principle is the
essential condition for facilitating an effective and fair access to those essential and primary goods which every
person needs and to which he or she has a right. ...
May Mary, the Mother of Jesus, help us to understand and live every day the fraternity that springs up from the
heart of her Son, so as to bring peace to each person on this our beloved earth.
+ Pope Francis, Message for the World Day of Peace, 2014
© Copyright 2013 Libreria Editrice Vaticana
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