Pope Francis presides over the canonizations of Cardinal John Henry Newman, Sister Marian Thresia, Sister Giuseppina Vannini, Sister Dulce Lopes Pontes, and Marguerite Bays. In his homily, the Pope reflects on the Gospel account of the lepers, and on the verbs “to cry out, to walk, to give thanks”.

In a sun-drenched St Peter’s Square, and before thousands of pilgrims coming from all over the world, Pope Francis proclaimed five new saints for the Church.

In his homily, he reflected on Saint Luke’s Gospel account of Jesus healing the lepers. Theirs was a “journey of faith”, said the Pope. There are three steps in this journey, he added, all expressed in the actions of the lepers whom Jesus heals: “They cry out, they walk and they give thanks”.

To cry out

The lepers “cry out”, said Pope Francis, both because of their disease and because they were excluded. Still, “they did not let themselves be paralyzed because they were shunned by society”, he said. “They cried out to God, who excludes no one”. Distances are shortened, loneliness is overcome, said the Pope, not by closing in on ourselves, but by crying out to the Lord, who “hears the cry of those who find themselves alone”.

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