A visit of peace in times of war

On Friday, March 8, Pope Francis was in the parish of St. Pius V, Rome, where the Vedruna Family has our General House, as part of the Lenten initiative of prayer and reconciliation instituted some years ago by the will of Pope Francis himself, “24 for the Lord”.

This event is celebrated in all the dioceses of the world on the eve of the fourth Sunday of Lent, from Friday, March 8 to Saturday, March 9. The Motto chosen by Francis for this year is taken from a verse of the Letter to the Romans: “Let us lead a new life” (Romans 6:4). Each year a parish in Rome is chosen, where the Pope presides over the Penitential Celebration. This year we were fortunate to be the chosen parish community.

In the homily, his words resonated deeply in our ears:

“And after so many steps along the way, perhaps we have lost sight of the holy life that flows within us: day after day, immersed in a repetitive rhythm, caught up in a thousand things, bewildered by so many messages, we look everywhere for satisfactions and novelties, stimuli and positive sensations, but we forget that a new life is already flowing within us which, like embers under the ashes, is waiting to burn and illuminate everything. When we are busy with so many things, do we think of the Holy Spirit who is within us and who guides us? It often happens to me that I do not think: it is bad. Being so busy with so many things makes us overflow and we forget the true path we are taking in the new life”.

For the ecclesial community of St. Pius V, it was a very beautiful and profound moment of prayer and reconciliation. An incredible synergy was generated by the joy of being so close to the presence of this man of peace, who brought us an evangelical message of fraternity in the midst of the many conflicts and heartbreaks that we live, the message of forgiveness: “The way to return to the new path is the forgiveness of God”.

In addition to the liturgical itinerary of the celebration, the harmonious songs, with messages and melodies that helped us to connect with God the Trinity, everything helped us to live the deep meaning of the liturgy, that is, to enter into harmony with the Lord, as a praying community that celebrates its faith and the passage of this God in our journey.

We returned to our homes with renewed hearts, both for the encounter with our Pastor and for the intense community moment of feeling as one as the People of God on a journey, and for experiencing once again that the forgiveness and peace we received are the caress of the Holy Spirit that is given to us during this Lenten season.

Maria José Meira, ccv

If you want to see more:

– Penitential Celebration at St. Pius V Parish:




– On the Lenten initiative “24 hours for the Lord”:


– About the Penitential Celebration at St. Pius V Parish: https://www.vaticannews.va/es/papa/news/2024-03/celebracion-de-penitencia-parroquia-romana-papa-francisco.html