The Vigil of Pentecost
Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi
Members from around the world joined Pope Francis and 150
other movements to celebrate the vigil of Pentecost in
St. Peter’s Square.
After greeting an enthusiastic crowd that
stretched all the way to the Tiber, Pope Francis enthroned
the icon of our Lady, Salvation of the Roman
People, in the Square.
Testimonies by members of other
movements followed. Paul Bhatti, the brother of Shahbaz Bhatti, the
Christian prime minister of Pakistan who was martyred two
years ago, reminded us that call to evangelize implies
making sacrifices, moving beyond your comfort zone.
then responded to questions that four members of different
movements posed. He challenged us to not let crises
close us in on ourselves, but to be a Church
that takes Jesus to people “on the very outskirts
of existence.” The full text of Pope Francis’ words
can be found here.
At the end of the
vigil, Pope Francis personally greeted the representatives of the
different movements. Fr. Sylvester Heereman, LC, Vicar General of
Regnum Christi, greeted the Holy Father and manifested the
support and adherence of all the members of Regnum
Christi. Afterwards, Fr. Sylvester said: “I thanked him for the
maternal closeness of the Church and I asked him
to take the suffering of so many members of
the Movement and Legionaries in these years to the tabernacle.”
Mass on Pentecost Sunday
The festivities continued next
morning as Pope Francis presided the Mass of Pentecost
Sunday. Many Regnum Christi members and Legionaries attended and
a number of Legionary priests concelebrated.
During the homily,
Pope Francis reminded us that the Holy Spirit brings
us novelties, creates unity in the Church in the
midst of diversity and sends us in mission – aspects
which characterize the life of the new movements in
the Church. The complete homily can be read here
Due to the great number of pilgrims, many
Legionary brothers were asked to assist in distributing communion to
the crowd that, once again, stretched to the Tiber.
Christi and the Legion of Christ extend our heartfelt
gratitude to Pope Francis for thus showing his appreciation
for the movements in the Church and for challenging us
to break out of our comfort zones and take
the Gospel to the ends of the earth.