Pope tribute to Barcelona, Ischia dead

VATICAN CITY - “It is not Christian to walk with one's gaze facing down, without raising one's eyes to the horizon." These were Pope Francis’ words on Wednesday in the Paul VI Audience Hall, where he promoted a message of hope, whilst also paying tribute to the victims of both the Barcelona attack and Ischia’s earthquake. 

 The pontiff made explicit reference to the recent terrorist attack in Spain, encouraging the 7000 faithful present to read the passage of the Apocalypse on Christian hope in light of recent events. Francis encouraged the 7,000 faithful present to read the passage of the Apocalypse on Christian hope - “Here I am new to all things,” - in the light of the present. "Try to meditate this passage of Sacred Scripture not in an abstract manner, but after reading the sad news from recent days in the newspapers. I greeted those from Barcelona, ​​how sad the news there! I greeted some from the Congo, how sad the news there! And many more. […]  Try to think of the faces of children afraid of war, mourning mothers, the dreams of so many young people, the refugees who face terrible journeys, who have been exploited so many times.” 

 The leader of the Catholic church continued : "Unfortunately this is life too. It could be said this is life above all. […] But there is a father crying with tears of infinite piety toward his children," said the pope, "We have a father who can cry, weeping with us, waiting for us to console us, because he knows our sufferings and has prepared for us a different future. This is the great vision of Christian hope. […] God has created us because he wants us happy. […] We believe and know that death and hatred are not the last words spoken on the parable of human existence," the pope summarised.

 Mentioning Monday’s earthquake in Ischia at the end of his speech, he said: "I turn my thoughts to those who suffer because of the earthquake that hit the island of Ischia on Monday evening. Pray for the dead, for the wounded, for their relatives and for the people who lost their homes."

 "Our God is a God who creates novelties, because he is the God of surprises," explained the pope. The final pages of the Bible, however, "show us the ultimate horizon of the believer's journey: the heavenly Jerusalem," imagined "as an immense tent, where God will welcome all men to live with them permanently," the Pope explained, citing the revelation: "What will God do, when will we finally be with Him? He will use infinite tenderness for us, like a father who welcomes his sons who have long struggled and suffered. The God of Novelty.”

 "Being Christians implies a new perspective: a look full of hope," the pope continued: “Some people believe that life retains all its happiness in youth and in the past, and that living is a slow decay. But we Christians do not believe this. We believe instead that in the horizon of man there is a sun that lights forever. We believe our most beautiful days have yet to come.”

 It is the with hope that the pope concluded Wednesday’s meeting. "There are always problems, gossip, wars, diseases," he said, "and in the end the evil will not win, eventually the evil will be eliminated." "The future does not belong to us, but we know that Jesus Christ is the greatest grace of life," said Francis. “And that creation did not stop on the sixth day of Genesis, but continued tireless, because God has always been worried about us.