Pope Francis celebrates his 80th birthday on December 17, 2016. It’s a good occasion to reflect on what Antonio Spadaro, SJ, has called the “3 most important homilies of Pope Francis about the Society of Jesus.” Here’s an excerpt in which the Pope talks about Mary:
Let us turn to Our Lady who carried Christ in her womb and accompanied the Church as she took her first steps. May she help us always to put Christ and his Church at the centre of our life and our ministry. May she, who was her Son’s first and most perfect disciple, help us let Christ make us his own, in order to follow him and serve him in every situation; may she who responded with the deepest humility to the Angel’s announcement: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me me according to your word” (Lk 1:38), enable us to feel ashamed at our own inadequacy before the treasure entrusted to us. May it also enable us to feel humility as we stand before God; and may we be accompanied on our way by the fatherly intercession of St Ignatius and of all the Jesuit Saints who continue to teach us to do all things, with humility, ad maiorem Dei gloriam, for the greater glory of our Lord God.
If you want to wish Pope Francis a happy birthday, e-mail addresses in seven languages or the social media hashtag #Pontifex80 have been set up by the Vatican for that purpose.