Thursday, January 02, 2014

Gesù Church, and Jesuits await visit by Pope Francis

Pope Francis was scheduled to celebrate Mass on Friday morning at the Gesù, the mother-church of the Jesuits, to mark the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. 

The liturgy will also celebrate the entry last month of Peter Faber, SJ, into the list of saints.

“The Name of Jesus is the ‘title’ of the Order,” explained Fr. Giuseppe Bellucci, SJ, the director of the press office of the Society of Jesus in Rome. 

“Saint Ignatius wanted the Company he founded to be given the Name of Jesus. For us, then, this is the principle feast. That the Pope has selected this feast of Jesus to give thanks for this new saint, and to celebrate with the Jesuits, to us it seems extremely significant.”

Father Belluci said Pope Francis has expressed the desire to personally greet every Jesuit at the Mass.

“For us, certainly, it is a moment of joy to meet the Pope , our confrère,” he told Vatican Radio’s Italian service.

“There is certainly expectation for the message that he wishes to give us,” continued Father Belluci. “I would further say it is an opportune moment for us Jesuits to return to the sources - to the origins of our spirituality - to study in depth those who, such as Favre and the first companions of St. Ignatius, were the foundations of our lives as Jesuits.”

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