30-June-2014 -- ZENIT.org News Agency |

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Pope: God is Capable of Transforming Our Hearts Through His Mercy

Reflects on the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul During Angelus Address

VATICAN CITY, June 29, 2014 (Zenit.org) - Saints Peter and Paul "received the love of God and let themselves be transformed by his mercy; thus they became friends and apostles of Christ."

These were the words of Pope Francis today during his Sunday Angelus address from the window of the Apostolic Palace. Thousands of pilgrims braved the summer heat of Rome to listen to the Holy Father's words in St. Peter's Square.

Prior to the address, the Pope celebrated the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul during a Mass held in St. Peter's Basilica, where he invested the pallium on 21 metropolitan archbishops from around the world.

Commenting on the feast of both saints on the same day, the Holy Father said that their faith in Christ made them brothers and their martyrdom made them one.

"Saint Peter and Saint Paul, so different from each other on a human level, were personally chosen by the Lord Jesus and they responded to the call offering their whole lives," he said. "In both, the grace of Christ accomplished great things, He transformed them. And how he transformed them!"

Peter, who denied Christ three times, and Paul, who harshly persecuted the early Christians, allowed themselves to be transformed by the mercy of God. Their example, he said, shows us the path towards salvation.

"Even us, if by chance we fall in a grave sin and in the darkest night, God is always capable of transforming us, as He transformed Peter and Paul; transforming our hearts and forgiving us all, transforming the darkness of sin into a dawn of light," he said.

"God is like that: he transforms us, he always forgives us, as he did with Peter and as he did with Paul."

Today's feast, he continued, enkindles joy in us because it reminds us of the mercy of God, who manifested his love through two men "who were great sinners."

Before reciting the Angelus prayer, Pope Francis reminded the faithful that God wishes to bestow on us that same grace that was given to the two great apostles.

"May the Virgin Mary help us to receive it like them, with an open heart, to not receive it in vain!" he exclaimed. (J.A.E.)

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