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Vatican pilgrims get free pocket editions of Gospel

By Sarah Mac Donald - 06 April, 2014

Pope Francis waves as he delivers his first "Urbi et Orbi"  message from the balcony overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican

Pilgrims attending Pope Francis’ Angelus address today in St Peter’s Square will receive a free pocket-sized special edition of the Gospels.

According to the Vatican Press Office, several thousand pocket-sized copies of the Gospel will be distributed free as a gift to the faithful at the behest of the Pope by 150 seminarians, Missionaries of Charity, and other volunteers.

The edition includes the four Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles, a prayer by Blessed John Henry Newman, and instructions on how to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.

It begins with the Pope’s words from the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium: “The joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus”.

As recently as 23 March, the Pope urged the faithful in his Angelus address to carry a pocket-sized book of the Gospels and read it often to meditate on Jesus’ words and deeds.

The initiative is similar to the distribution of the ‘Misericordinas’ rosaries some months ago.

The Pope is using the opportunity to distribute spiritual charity and underline that charity does not always have to be material.

On Saturday, the Pope’s @pontifex Twitter account tweeted, “In the Gospel we can hear Jesus speaking to us every day: may we always carry with us a small copy of the Gospel!”

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