Year of Youth 2018

Pope Francis: "A Closed Heart Cannot Understand What Christianity Is"

Last edited 19th April 2017

The wind and cold air couldn't extinguish the enthusiasm and the affection in St. Peter's Square. Pope Francis again remained faithful to his customs of letting the little ones climb aboard the popemobile, to greet children and elders.

Before thousands of people in his first catechesis after Holy Week, he spoke about the foundation of Christian faith: the Resurrection of Christ.

"Christianity is born here. It is not an ideology, it is not a philosophical system. Faith is born from the Resurrection."

During the days following Easter, the liturgy recalls the beginnings of the Church. Among them is the conversion of a very special person: St. Paul.

"He was not an altar boy, eh? He was a persecutor of the Church. The persecutor becomes an apostle. Why? 'For I have seen Jesus alive, I have seen the risen Jesus' and this is the foundation of Paul's faith, of the faith of the other apostles, the faith of the Church, of our faith."

To believe in the resurrection, the pope concluded, it's necessary for Christians to be open to what is difficult to explain only with reason. It takes a heart that is able to be surprised by God.

"A closed heart, a rational heart, is incapable of astonishment and cannot understand what Christianity is, because Christianity is grace and grace has to be perceived."

This is the way that Pope Francis ended the General Audience. The square was still decorated with 35,000 flowers that were brought from Holland for Easter. It is a tradition that has been going on for three decades.


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