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H

e came. He loved. He conquered hearts. In his

historic apostolic journey to the United States in

September, Pope Francis encountered crowds

that ran into the hundreds of thousands. He addressed the

world’s most wealthy and powerful as well as the home-

less, schoolchildren, prisoners, disabled, victims of sexual

abuse, and families of 9/11 victims.

And through it all, people came

to know that he, and the One he

serves, loves them.

The ‘people’s Pope’

Repeatedly, people spoke of him

as the “people’s Pope,” a man who

brings hope, a man who loves the

least among us. The media gave him wall-to-wall cov-

erage, and the crowds gave him a barricade-to-barri-

cade audience. The Secret Service gave him the largest

security operation in U.S. history, larger than any ever

accorded to the President of the United States. Congress

received him in a

historic Joint Meeting of both Houses,

marking the first time a pope had ever addressed such

a gathering, with an audience that included members

of the Supreme Court, the President’s Cabinet, and

various other dignitaries.

The U.N.

welcomed him to

address their General Assembly — again, the first time

a pope had ever done so.

But he didn’t just come to speak to the secular world;

he came for the Church

, canonizing St. Junipero Serra,

an historic, first-time canonization Mass on U.S. soil, held

at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate

Conception on the grounds of The Catholic University of

America in Washington, D.C. He

addressed the U.S. bishops,

thank-

ing them for the immense contribu-

tions made by the Catholic Church

in America to the Church around

the world. He came to pray with

the faithful, especially consecrated

religious in the ongoing Year of

Consecrated Life, passing through crowds of seminarians

and novices (including Marians in formation). He prayed

with the priests and religious of the Archdiocese of New

York in

St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

He celebrated Mass with

representatives of the laity, clergy, and religious of the

Archdiocese of Philadelphia in the

Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul.

And really, all that just scratches the surface.

His mark upon history

For a long time to come, the Church in America will

be taking direction from Pope Francis’ words and exam-

‘G

od

B

less

A

merica

!’

POPE FRANCIS

ELECTRIFIES

THE NATION

By Chris Sparks

M

arians

R

eflect

: T

he

P

apal

V

isit

Brother Timothy, MIC

seminarian

My hope is that, as a result of

this papal visit, the Catholic

Church in the U.S. will be em-

boldened to truly live out the

Catholic faith in all aspects and

that those who have fallen away

from the faith may accept the grace to come

back to the Sacraments and once again walk

the path to holiness.

Father Robert Vennetti, MIC

It’s a gift for the Church in the U.S. that

he does this [visits Catholic University of

America inWashington, D.C., and can-

onizes St. Junipero Serra here] a couple

months before the JubileeYear of Mercy

starts. Our Marian motto is

pro Christo et

ecclesia

— for Christ and the Church. Hav-

ing the Vicar of Christ come to us — literally, since our

men in formation live on campus —helps give them this

more universal outlook.

M

arian

H

elper

 • W

inter

2015-16

 •

marian.org

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