Fridays of Mercy

In his apostolic letter Misericordia et misera at the end of the Year of Mercy on the feast of Christ the King, Pope Francis said, ‘During the Holy Year, especially on the Fridays of Mercy, I was able to experience in a tangible way the goodness present in our world. Often it remains hidden, since it is daily expressed in discreet and quiet gestures. Even if rarely publicised, many concrete acts of goodness and tenderness are shown to the weak and the vulnerable, to those most lonely and abandoned. There are true champions of charity who show constant solidarity with the poor and the unhappy. Let us thank the Lord for these precious gifts that invite us to discover the joy of drawing near to human weakness and suffering.’

During the Year of Mercy Pope Francis gave a catechesis on the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy at his weekly audience. On one Friday each month, Pope Francis showed what these Works are in a very special way. It is worth recalling those Fridays of Mercy.

January: Pope Francis visited a retirement home for the elderly.

February: He met people suffering from drug addiction in a centre in Castel Gandolfo.

March: He celebrated Mass, with the washing of feet, on Holy Thursday at a refugee centre.

April: He travelled to the island of Lesbos and met migrants and refugees.

May: He visited a community of people with severe mental disabilities at Ciampino.

June: He met with two groups of sick and elderly priests.

July: While at WYD in Krakow, he paid a visit to a paediatric hospital and also went to Auschwitz concentration camp, where he stood in silent prayer.

August: He met women rescued from prostitution.

September: He visited sick infants in San Giovanni hospital and also paid a visit to a hospice.

October: He visited an SOS village in Rome which cared for children in family or social crisis.

November: He met with families of priests who had left active ministry.


 Friday would be a special day to promote the culture of mercy!

Fr Paddy Jones, former director of the National Centre for Liturgy, is administrator of the parish of St Columba, Iona Road, Dublin. Email


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