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Pope Francis: video message for “Thy Kingdom Come”, “that the Holy Spirit might widen our hearts”

(Foto Vatican Media/SIR)

Pope Francis’ prayer for Pentecost, that the Holy Spirit might enlarge and widen our hearts, was posted on Twitter by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who, during a recent visit to Rome, had asked the Pope whether he too would join the global prayer movement “Thy Kingdom Come” with a video-message. “Come Holy Spirit”, the Pope said in the video. “This is the cry of all Christians on this Day of Pentecost. Come Holy Spirit. The Promise of the Father. The Promise of Jesus. That the Holy Spirit might enlarge and widen our hearts. We all have a problem, and that is that our hearts tend to shrink, become smaller and close. We can’t solve that problem by ourselves. Only the Holy Spirit can solve it. Come Holy Spirit. And Jesus, Thy Kingdom Come. The Kingdom of the Father that you came to announce. And to you, my brothers and sisters, with my brother Justin Welby, we want to tell you that we walk alongside you in this prayer – ‘Thy Kingdom Come’”.

Started in 2016 as an invitation from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to the Church of England, the “Thy Kingdom Come” movement has grown into an international and ecumenical call to prayer. The official website of the initiative recalls that after the very first Ascension Day, the disciples gathered with Mary, constantly devoting themselves to prayer while they waited for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. “Like them, our reliance on the gift of the Holy Spirit is total. On our own we can do nothing”. Throughout the centuries, Christians have repeated this prayer for the coming of the Holy Spirit and “Thy Kingdom Come” picks up this tradition. Over the past three years, it has grown into a truly global and ecumenical movement, bringing together increasing numbers of communities who join in prayer between Ascension and Pentecost.

At the beginning of Pope Francis’ video message, Archbishop Welby explains how it went. “The most amazing thing happened a little while ago. I had the huge privilege of meeting Pope Francis who is extraordinary. I very cheekily said to him would he give a message for “Thy Kingdom Come”? And without a pause, he gave the message you’re about to hear. Listen carefully, it is utterly inspiring”.

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