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Pope Francis greets pilgrims gathered for his general audience yesterday (Vatican Media)

“A Christian without courage, who does not turn his own strength to good, who does not bother anyone, is a useless Christian,” Pope Francis said yesterday. Source: CNA.

The Pope dedicated his general audience catechesis yesterday to the virtue of fortitude, observing that it consists of the ability to live with courage and to confront the inner — and outer — turmoils of life.

He opened his reflection by chronicling the development of fortitude, pointing to its philosophical roots in antiquity as well as its development in the Christian tradition.

“Ancient thought did not imagine a man without passions; he would be a stone,” the Pope said. 

Yet he cautioned that passions, while “not necessarily the residue of a sin,” need to be tempered, or “educated, channelled, purified with the water of baptism, or better with the fire of the Holy Spirit”. 

“Fortitude is first and foremost a victory against ourselves,” the Pope said. “Most of the fears that arise within us are unrealistic and do not come true at all.”

“It is better, then, to invoke the Holy Spirit and face everything with patient fortitude: one problem at a time, as we are able, but not alone!” the Holy Father said. “The Lord is with us, if we trust in him and sincerely seek the good. Then in every situation we can count on God’s providence to shield and armour us.”

Highlighting the myriad social problems present in the world today, from war and famine to slavery and the oppression of the poor, the Pope said that it is the gift of fortitude that enables human beings to “cry out an emphatic ‘no’ to all of this”. 

At the end of the catechesis, the Pope repeated his appeal for peace amid the ongoing wars in Ukraine and the Holy Land. 


Pope Francis: ‘A Christian without courage’ is ‘a useless Christian’ (CNA)