18-March-2013 -- Catholic News Agency |

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Pope Francis Cracks Two Jokes In First Angelus, Winning More Hearts

(http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=26816)

VATICAN CITY, March 17 (CNA/EWTN News) .- The new Pope's spontaneity was revealed again today when he cracked two jokes after his very first Angelus prayer in front of thousands.

On a more serious note, he asked people to never get tired of asking God for forgiveness.

"Don't forget this, the Lord never gets tired of forgiving, it is we that get tired of asking forgiveness," said Pope Francis today at Saint Peter's Square.

"Let us not hear words of contempt or condone, but only words of love and mercy that invite us to conversion," he told the crowd.

The new Pope said that the face of God is like that of a merciful father that always has patience and is always willing to forgive us.

"Have you thought about how much patience he has with you?" he asked.

Pope Francis told how he recently read a book by Cardinal Walter Kasper on mercy.

"That book has done me so much good, but don't think I'm trying to make publicity of my cardinals!" he joked. "It's not like that!"

"It's done me so much good because he says that mercy changes everything, it changes the world making it less cold and more fair," said Pope Francis.

He explained that the prophet Isaiah said that "if our sins are red like scarlet, God will make them white like snow."

Pope Francis also told how when the image of Our Lady of Fatima arrived to Buenos Aires in 1992 when he was Bishop, a big Mass was celebrated for the poor, during which he heard confessions.

He told of the conversation with "an old and very humble lady" who came to him towards the end of the Mass.

Pope: "Nonna, do you want to confess yourself?"

Lady: "Yes."

Pope: "But you haven't sinned."

Lady: "We've all sinned."

Pope: "But maybe God won't forgive you."

Lady: "God forgives everyone."

Pope: "How do you know, madame?"

Lady: "If God didn't forgive everything, the world wouldn't exist."

"I wanted to ask her, 'Have you studied at the Gregorian (University)?' because that is the knowledge that the Holy Spirit gives!" exclaimed the Pope, laughing.

Pope Francis then extended his greetings to all faithful and said he chose the name "Francis" to spiritually tie himself to Italy, of which his family is originally from.

"But Jesus has called us to form part of a new family of his Church, in this family of God walking together on the path of the Gospel," he said.

"Let's not forget that God never gets tired of forgiving so let's never get tired of asking for forgiveness," he added again.

Pope Francis ended his first Angelus prayer wishing everyone a "nice Sunday and a nice lunch."

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