Mercy Messenger: Pope Francis Conveys Tenderness of God

A look back over 10 years of quotes about mercy from the Holy Father

By Joseph Pronechen

It is not easy to entrust oneself to God’s mercy, because it is an abyss beyond our comprehension. But we must! … ‘Oh, I am a great sinner!’ ‘All the better! Go to Jesus: He likes you to tell him these things!’ He forgets. He has a very special capacity for forgetting. He forgets. He kisses you. He embraces you, and he simply says to you: ‘Neither do I condemn you; go, and sin no more’ (John 8:11). — Homily, March 17, 2013

‘Brothers and sisters, God’s face is the face of a merciful Father who is always patient. Have you thought about God’s patience, the patience he has with each one of us? That is his mercy. He always has patience, patience with us. He understands us. He waits for us. He does not tire of forgiving us if we are able to return to him with a contrite heart.’

— Angelus, March 17, 2013

‘Dear brothers and sisters, let us be enveloped by the mercy of God; let us trust in his patience, which always gives us more time. Let us find the courage to return to his house, to dwell in his loving wounds, allowing ourselves to be loved by him and to encounter his mercy in the sacraments. We will feel his wonderful tenderness, we will feel his embrace, and we too will become more capable of mercy, patience, forgiveness and love.’

— Homily, Divine Mercy Sunday, April 7, 2013

‘Precisely in feeling my sinfulness, in looking at my sins, I can see and encounter God’s mercy, his love, and go to him to receive forgiveness. … How beautiful is this gaze of Jesus: How much tenderness is there! Brothers and sisters, let us never lose trust in the patience and mercy of God!’

— Homily, Divine Mercy Sunday, April 7, 2013

‘Together let us pray to the Virgin Mary that she helps us … to walk in faith and charity, ever trusting in the Lord’s mercy. He always awaits us, loves us, has pardoned us with his blood and pardons us every time we go to him to ask his forgiveness. Let us trust in his mercy!’

— Regina Caeli, Divine Mercy Sunday, April 7, 2013

‘God’s mercy transforms human hearts; it enables us, through the experience of a faithful love, to become merciful in turn. In an ever new miracle, Divine Mercy shines forth in our lives, inspiring each of us to love our neighbor and to devote ourselves to what the Church’s tradition calls the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.’ — Message for Lent, 2016

‘The mystery of Divine Mercy is revealed in the history of the covenant between God and his people Israel. God shows himself ever rich in mercy, ever ready to treat his people with deep tenderness and compassion, especially at those tragic moments when infidelity ruptures the bond of the covenant, which then needs to be ratified more firmly in justice and truth.

Here is a true love story, in which God plays the role of the betrayed father and husband, while Israel plays the unfaithful child and bride. These domestic images — as in the case of Hosea (Hosea 1-2) — show to what extent God wishes to bind himself to his people. This love story culminates in the incarnation of God’s Son. In Christ, the Father pours forth his boundless mercy even to making him ‘mercy incarnate. (Misericordiae Vultus, 8)’ — Message for Lent, 2016

‘[M]ercy always has a youthful face! Because a merciful heart is motivated to move beyond its comfort zone. … When the heart is open and able to dream, there is room for mercy; there is room to caress those who suffer; there is room to draw close to those who have no peace of heart or who do not have the bare necessities to live, or who do not have the most beautiful thing of all: the faith. Mercy. Let us together repeat this word: mercy.”

— World Youth Day, Poland, July 28, 2016

‘Let us today, like Thomas, implore the grace to acknowledge our God: to find in his forgiveness our joy, and to find in his mercy our hope. … As today we enter, through Christ’s wounds, into the mystery of God, we come to realize that mercy is not simply one of his qualities among others, but the very beating of his heart.’

— Homily, Divine Mercy Sunday, April 8, 2018

‘Mercy towards a human life in a state of need is the true face of love. This is how one becomes a true disciple of Jesus and the face of the Father is manifested: ‘Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful’ (Luke 6:36). And God, our Father, is merciful because he is compassionate. He is able to have this compassion, to draw near to our suffering, our sin, our vices, our miseries.’

— Angelus, July 14, 2019

‘In life we go forward tentatively, uncertainly, like a toddler who takes a few steps and falls; a few steps more and falls again, yet each time his father puts him back on his feet. The hand that always puts us back on our feet is mercy: God knows that without mercy we will remain on the ground, that in order to keep walking, we need to be put back on our feet.’

— Homily, April 19, 2020

‘In the midst of our own crises and our difficulties, Divine Mercy often makes us aware of the sufferings of our neighbor. We think that we are experiencing unbearable pain and situations of suffering, and we suddenly discover that others around us are silently enduring even worse things. If we care for the wounds of our neighbor and pour upon them the balm of mercy, we find being reborn within us a hope that comforts us in our weariness.’

— Homily, Divine Mercy Sunday, April 24, 2022.