On eve of 31st December Pope Francis closed the year 2019 with the Vespers and the singing of the Te Deum which was celebrated in the Basilica of St. Peter at 17: 00. Our college had an honour of having some seminarians do liturgical service during this celebration. Before the celebration we all gathered in the Chapel of Pieta by Michelangelo where each one of us was personally greeted by His Holiness Pope Francis.
In his homily, the Pope reflected on how God choses those on the margins of society, in the smallest of cities, to enter our world. “God’s decision is clear,” he said, “to reveal His love, he chooses a small city, a despised city, and when He reaches Jerusalem, He joins the population of sinners and castaways.” The Pope added that God chose to begin the work of salvation “in the womb of a small, poor woman of His People,” and not in the greatness of the Temple. “This choice of God is extraordinary!” he said, “He does not change history through the powerful men in civil and religious institutions, but beginning with the women on the margins of the Empire, like Mary”. Our response, said the Pope, should be to work for peace and to help those in need. He further said Rome is both a complex city – with its share of “problems, inequalities, corruption and social tensions” – and a place where “God sends His Word” to impel us to believe, hope, and love, while “fighting for the good of all.” After the celebration, the Pontiff made his way to the Nativity scene located next to the obelisk in St. Peter's Square to pray and listen to Christmas carols.
We thank God for having this opportunity to finish this year serving the Pope during this special occasion in thanksgiving to God for the blessings of 2019. We continue praying for Pope Francis, for the eternal city and for the whole mother Church.