Currents News Staff
Pope Francis only spent two days visiting the island of Malta, but his trip was filled with powerful words and messages. After arriving on the island, the pontiff met with the President of Malta and the country’s political leaders. The Holy Father urged the Maltese government to be a source of welcome to the hundreds of refugees who reach their shores each year.
Here are the pontiff’s top four messages:
“The other is not a virus from which we need to be protected, but a person to be accepted.”
Later that day, the Holy Father traveled to the island of Gozo by boat, where he visited the sanctuary of Ta’ Pinu. There, he said how Christians must return to their roots to recover a rich and living faith.
“The crisis of faith, apathy in religious practice, especially in the aftermath of the pandemic, and indifference shown by many young people towards the presence of God: these are not issues that we should ‘sugarcoat,’ thinking that, all things considered, a certain religious spirit still endures. We need to ensure that religious practices do not get reduced to relics from the past, but remain the expression of a living, open faith that spreads the joy of the Gospel.”
On the second day of his visit, Pope Francis celebrated Mass before a crowd of 20,000 in the city of Floriana. In his homily, he said to be Christian is not to condemn others, but to lead a life of forgiveness.
“Those who believe they are upholding the faith by pointing their finger at others may have a certain ‘religiosity,’ but they have not embraced the spirit of the Gospel, for they disregard mercy, which is the heart of God.”
To end his trip, Pope Francis visited a migrant center, where he reiterated his closeness to refugees, and encouraged them to move forward despite the challenges they face.
“You are not statistics but flesh and blood people with faces and dreams, dreams that are sometimes dashed.”
The Holy Father then headed to the airport to return to Rome and end the 36th international trip of his papacy.