“24 Hours for the Lord”, Pope Francis to Saint Pius V Parish: “God never tires of forgiving”

09 March 2024


On Friday 8 March, Pope Francis presided over the penitential liturgy of  "24 Hours for the Lord", promoted by the Dicastery for Evangelization, in the Roman parish of St Pius  V. The Lenten initiative, now in its eleventh year, was also celebrated on Saturday 9th in dioceses round the world, and had an even greater significance than usual given that we are now in the in the Year of Prayer in preparation for the Holy Year.

The parish choir welcomed the Pope's entry to the church with the 2025 Jubilee Hymn, ‘Pilgrims of Hope’.

“The new life, begun in Baptism, is a journey. And there is no pausing in this!” said the Holy Father during the homily. “Nobody on this path retires, we always have to move forward. After many steps along the way, perhaps we have lost sight of the holy life that wells up within us … day after day, immersed in a repetitive rhythm, caught up in a thousand things to do, dazed by so many messages, we look for satisfaction and novelty everywhere. We look for external stimuli and satisfactions, but we forget that there is already a new life flowing within us, which, like embers under the ashes, is waiting to catch fire again and shed light on everything."

Among the thousand or so faithful present in the church, nine received the sacrament of reconciliation directly from the Pope. Then, for more than an hour, the Pro-Prefect of the Dicastery, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, together with 19 other Missionary of Mercy priests, heard the confessions of those who wished to receive the sacrament of forgiveness.

“What is the way to resume the path of new life?” continued the Pope. “It is the path of God's forgiveness. God never tires of forgiving. The tragedy is that we are the ones who get tired of asking Him for forgiveness. Divine forgiveness quite simply makes us new. (...) The Lord removes the ash covering the embers of the soul, and cleanses those interior stains that prevent us from trusting in God, from embracing our brothers, from loving ourselves. He forgives everything."