From Brian’s Letter No 183: Vietnam – Passionist Community
In the Passionist community chapel at St Paul’s in Saigon, where Brian Traynor was recently there is a very large mural. The right hand side is particularly interesting as you can see from the image below. At the front of a procession of saints is Paul of the Cross (founder of the Passionists, and Mother Teresa of Kolkata. Those towards the rear and non-canonised saints. In the lower portion of the mural is hell, characterised by the helicopters of the American-Vietnam war. That is a very sobering image.
Pope Francis – See for yourself!
If you want to get a sense of Pope Francis’ zeal for evangelization, for sharing the Good News that has obviously been the anchor and inspiration of his own life, you should watch him speak at two events (each Sunday at the noontime Angelus address and blessing, and each Wednesday at the 9 am general audience. Merely reading his reflections or catechesis, as good as they may be on paper, does not give the sense of his fervour. Most of the time he strays from the prepared text and speaks passionately from the heart.
The Vatican provides live and easy-to-access online coverage of the Sunday reflection/blessing and Wednesday audience. Many people are not aware of this or how to get access to the pope’s speeches and the videos of his events. So here’s the “how to”:
You can find the official Holy See website in several languages at: https://www.vatican.va/content/vatican/en.html.
This is virtually a one-stop shop for accessing just about everything Pope Francis says or does. The site also includes links to the various departments of the Roman Curia and other agencies and offices related to the Vatican.
If you want to locate a speech or document from a previous pope, there are links that open up sites or provide texts from popes going back to Benedict XIV who was Bishop of Rome from 1740-1758.
On the main page of the Holy See website there is also a calendar with select papal events each day, which provides links to the pope’s addresses, the daily bulletin of the H.S. Press Office, newly issued papal documents, and — in the case of papal liturgies — a pdf of the service booklet. If you click “General Audience” you can access the text of the pope’s catechesis in the original Italian, plus full translations in numerous other languages. There is also a photo gallery and a video recording with an English voice-over (with the option of including sign language). If you want to watch and listen to Francis speak without the voice-over, simply go back to the homepage of the website and, in the upper right-hand corner, select “ITALIANO”. Then go back to the calendar and click on “Udienza Generale”.
Another easy way to access videos of papal events, even as they are happening, is through the various YouTube channels operated by Vatican News. The one that provides “universal sound” that is unfiltered and without comment or voice-over is here:
The first window is Vatican Media Live, which provides a running video feed that can be scrolled back up to 12 hours. The live camera is actually fixed on St. Peter’s Square when it is not broadcasting papal events — such as the general audience and Angelus — in real time.
There are also recorded videos of past events.
The English version of the Vatican News YouTube channel is: https://www.youtube.com/@VaticanNewsEN. Enjoy the view… especially the words and gestures of Francis, the teaching and evangelizing pope!