The Cross

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Why do Christians exalt the Cross of Christ?” asked Pope Francis of pilgrims and tourists Sunday 14th September who had gathered beneath the window of his study for the midday Angelus. Because, he told them, that Cross on which Christ was nailed “is the source of the mercy of God that embraces the whole world”. It’s not just any cross, it is the source of our salvation.

And today – on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross – the Pope said we should pray for Christians who are being persecuted and killed because of their faith in Christ. “This happens especially there where religious freedom is still not guaranteed or fully realized. It happens, however, even in well-to-do countries which, in principle, protect freedom and human rights, but where in practice believers, and especially Christians, encounter restrictions and discrimination. So today we remember them and pray especially for them”.

The Pope also warned against considering the cross a sign “magic”: “The Holy Cross …. is not a sign of ‘magic’! Belief in the Cross of Jesus involves following Him on his path. Thus Christians collaborate in His work of salvation by accepting together with Him sacrifice, suffering, even death for the love of God and neighbour”.

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