(Vatican News) During his Wednesday General Audience, Pope Francis praises Servant of God Madeleine Delbrêl's life as epitomizing apostolic zeal, and calls on the faithful to imitate the way she shared the joy of faith with others.
Servant of God Madeleine Delbrêl offers an example of how to embrace our baptismal call to share the joy of the Gospel.
Pope Francis offered this reflection during his General Audience on Wednesday morning in St. Peter's Square, as he continued his catechesis series on people who have embodied apostolic zeal.
Set out in search for God
The Holy Father urged the faithful to learn from the 20th century French social worker, writer and mystic, who, for over three decades, lived, prayed and worked among the poor in the peripheries of Paris.
After a period of agnosticism in her youth, the Pope recalled, Madeleine encountered Christ through the witness of her friends, and, following her conversion, chose to live a life completely devoted to God, in the heart of the Church and the world.
"She set out in search of God," the Holy Father said, "giving voice to a deep thirst she felt within her." In doing so, he observed, she came to understand "that the 'emptiness that cried out in her anguish' was God seeking her."
Following Christ, even when laziness sets in
"The joy of faith," he continued, "led her to mature a choice of life entirely given to God, in the heart of the Church and in the heart of the world, simply sharing in fraternity the life of the 'people of the streets."
The Holy Father recalled how she "poetically" addressed Jesus, when writing, "To be with You on Your way, we must go, even when our laziness begs us to stay."
Madeleine, he noted, was deeply moved by the plight of the poor and the anguish of those struggling to find meaning in life.
Faith: an extraordinary treasure
Madeleine Delbrêl’s example of apostolic zeal, the Holy Father said, reminds us of our own baptismal mission to share the joy of the Gospel with others.
In the process, he added, it inspires us to grow in fidelity to the twin commandments of love of God and love of all our brothers and sisters.