CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (CNS) — God wants people to be generous and merciful, not full of condemnation toward others, Pope Francis said. God is well aware of “our miseries, our difficulties, even our sins, and he gives all of us this merciful heart,” capable of being loving and merciful toward others, he told pilgrims gathered outside the papal summer villa.
“God always wants this: mercy, and not (people) going around condemning everyone,” he said July 14 before praying the Angelus. While most popes spend a portion of the hot Roman summer at the papal residence in Castel Gandolfo for vacation, Pope Francis continues to reside at the Vatican.
However, he said he wanted to spend a day visiting the people of this hilltop town as well as the Vatican staff who work at the papal villa to thank them for their service. “My thoughts go to Blessed John Paul II and Benedict XVI, who loved spending part of the summer period in this pontifical residence,” he told the employees as well as Bishop Marcello Semeraro of Albano and Milvia Monachesi, the town’s mayor.