Pope Francis has released his message for Lent 2017, which begins on Wednesday, March 1. For this season of conversion, Pope Francis asks us to remember that "the Word is a gift" and "other persons are a gift," and calls to mind the parable of the rich man and Lazarus.
The Holy Father says:
Pope Francis' universal prayer intention for July 2016 is that "That indigenous peoples, whose identity and very existence are threatened, will be shown due respect."
Pope Francis' universal prayer intention for April 2016 is that "small farmers may receive a just reward for their precious labor."
Below is the full text of Pope Francis' Easter Blessing (thanks to Vatican News):
Dear Brothers and Sisters, a Happy and Holy Easter!
Prayer for March 2016: Families in Difficulty and Persecuted Christians
Prayer for February 2016: Care for Creation and Encounter in Asia Universal
Pope Francis' universal prayer intention for February 2016 is "that we may take good care of creation–a gift freely given–cultivating and protecting it for future generations".
We're so happy that Pope Francis has begun releasing video prayer intentions. May this new media effort help the Holy Father reach even more people with his message of mercy and fraternity. We're glad to share this month's video with you here:
Pope Francis has offered us a lot of advice on how to be better Christians and people. He's also taken a hard look at some practices among the faithful that have long been accepted in different forms, but that are bad for spiritual health.
While work is sometimes (often) a source of stress in our lives, where would we be without it? Work, while difficult, is part and parcel of human nature and serves human dignity. Work enables us to celebrate our gifts and talents from God and empowers us to participate in creation with God. Work is a human right, and those deprived of work are denied dignity and usually a decent livelihood. We know that Jesus worked as a carpenter, and that knowledge can elevate our work (whether physical or intellectual in nature) in our hearts and minds.