Since faith is one, it must be professed in all its purity and integrity". Pope Francis/Pope Benedict
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Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Pope Francis: Women are to be simple and humble witnesses for the Faith

The Holy Father's Angelus today outlined in beautiful words the constant teaching of the Church: women are to give humble witness to the faith; like the shepherds. Not for women  the sacramental priesthood. Rather, women are to be the foundation of the family, that will bring forth new priests; women are the primordial witnesses of Our Lord to men, who will be His priests. 

Mary Magdalene was the first witness and herald (cf. Jn 20:1, 11-18). As Pope Benedict XVI noted, St. Thomas Aquinas referred to her as "Apostle of the Apostles" (apostolorum apostola), dedicating to her this beautiful comment: "Just as a woman had announced the words of death to the first man, so also a woman was the first to announce to the Apostles the words of life" (Super Ioannem, ed. Cai, § 2519).

Pope Francis: 

... In the Gospels, however, women have a primary, fundamental role. Here we can see an argument in favor of the historicity of the Resurrection: if it were a invented, in the context of that time it would not have been linked to the testimony of women. Instead, the evangelists simply narrate what happened: the women were the first witnesses. This tells us that God does not choose according to human criteria: the first witnesses of the birth of Jesus are the shepherds, simple and humble people, the first witnesses of the Resurrection are women. This is beautiful, and this is the mission of women, of mothers and women, to give witness to their children and grandchildren that Christ is Risen! Mothers go forward with this witness! What matters to God is our heart, if we are open to Him, if we are like trusting children. But this also leads us to reflect on how in the Church and in the journey of faith, women have had and still have a special role in opening doors to the Lord, in following him and communicating his face, because the eyes of faith always need the simple and profound look of love. The Apostles and disciples find it harder to believe in the Risen Christ, not the women however! Peter runs to the tomb, but stops before the empty tomb; Thomas has to touch the wounds of the body of Jesus with his hands. In our journey of faith it is important to know and feel that God loves us, do not be afraid to love: faith is professed with the mouth and heart, with the word and love.

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