As we celebrate the feast of St Francis the Irish friars pray you experience all the joy in the Lord that filled the Poverello’s heart.

In our troubled world now more than ever we need to be peace-makers, we need to live Francis’ words of wisdom:

‘Since you speak peace, all the more so must you have peace in your hearts.

Let none be provoked to anger or scandal by you, but rather may they be drawn to peace, goodness and unity by your gentleness.

We have been called to heal wounds, to unite what has fallen apart, and to bring home those who have lost their way.’

Pope Francis knows the power of words to build up or tear down. Speaking recently to the security personel in the Vatican he was blunt and clear about what builds or destroys peace!

‘There are bombs in here, very dangerous bombs in here. Please, keep your eyes open, because in the darkness of so many wicked lives, the enemy has sown weeds.

A good guardian, like the Archangel, has the courage to get rid of demons and has the intelligence to be able to pick them out from the crowd. He can’t be, excuse my terminology, an idiot; he has to be quick on the uptake and alert. I know your job is to be like sentinels, keeping watch and guarding entrances, doors and windows so no bombs get in.
But, I want to tell you something a bit sad; there are bombs in here and it doesn’t matter if it’s a homemade bomb or an atomic bomb, every single one is dangerous and there are many. The worst bomb inside the Vatican is gossip, which threatens the life of the church and the life of the Vatican every day because it sows destruction and destroys the lives of others.

While there are many religious and laypeople in the Vatican who are sowing good seed, the devil is still getting his way by using others to sow weeds. I call on you to crack down on backstabbing and courageously call people out. Stop them in their tracks and say, “Please sir, please ma’am, please father, please sister, please your Excellency, please your Eminence, please Holy Father, don’t gossip; that’s not allowed here.”


Whatever gripes or problems people have, they should take them directly to the people involved without also complaining to the world. 


With your added vigilance and help, the final word written about our lives will be, “He was a good person. He sowed good seed,” and not, “He was dreadful, he planted bombs of discord” — that would be very sad.’