Pope: Women’s Capacity for Self-Giving can Bring Peace to World

Pictured: Pope Francis meets with the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organizations, and encourages women to help others find peace through their capacity to build relationships

The World Union of Catholic Women’s Organizations, or WUCWO, held a special rally in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall on Saturday, as the umbrella group gears up to hold its General Assembly in Assisi on 14-20 May.

Pope Francis encouraged the 1,500 women to find inspiration in their mission by looking to the example of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

In his address, the Pope expressed his hopes that the women may be enlivened by the Spirit while keeping in mind the founding principles of WUCWO.

He urged them to “look to the future with your eyes and heart open to the world, to listen to the lament of so many women in the world who suffer injustice, abandonment, discrimination, and poverty.”

Peace begins in heart

Pope Francis noted that our world is in dire need of peace, which he said must begin in our hearts that have been “torn apart by the division of hatred and resentment.”

He also lamented the threat women face in various parts of the world where they risk becoming tools in the midst of “political disputes and cultural ideologies”.

“There is a need for greater appreciation of women’s capacity for relationship and giving, said the Pope. “And men need to better understand the richness of the reciprocity they owe to women, in order to recover those anthropological elements that characterize human identity and, with it, that of woman and her role in the family and society, where she does not cease to be a beating heart.”

Generating life and caring for others

Since the Church celebrates the feast of Our Lady of Fatima on Saturday, Pope Francis urged the women of WUCWO to look to the Virgin Mary as a model of life.

He said she lived her mission to the full, offering the world her gift of motherhood and faithful carrying out her task to care for her children in the Church.

“Mary,” he said, “teaches you to generate life and to always protect it, relating to others from tenderness and compassion”.

The Pope also urged them to combine three “languages”, which he said are those of “the mind, heart, and hands.”

“I believe that women have the ability to think what they feel, to feel what they think and do, and to do what they feel and think,” he said. “I encourage you to continue to offer this sensitivity in the service of others.”

Fullness of life found in union with Christ

The Pope went on to reflect on the power which gave Mary strength and lent credibility to the simple shepherd children to whom the Blessed Virgin appeared in Fatima.

The secret to discipleship, he said, lies in cultivating an inner union with God, and remaining united with Him in order to “live, like Mary, the fullness of being women with the awareness of being chosen to carry out God’s saving work.”

Union with Christ, added Pope Francis, must be manifested in the everyday lives of women through communion with the Church and service to others.

“You have to ‘pray’ in your work, and ‘put into practice’ what you have experienced in prayer, in order to get in tune with the mission of the Church,” he said.

In conclusion, Pope Francis encouraged the women of WUCWO to strive forward in their evangelizing activities, as they follow the inner voice of the Spirit.

By Devin Watkins @