2013-11-17 Vatican - At his Angelus address Pope Francis warned the faithful not to be taken in by false saviours or leaders in our world who seek to influence the minds of people, especially the young. He also urged solidarity with the many Christians undergoing persecution throughout the world, praising their courage and testimony.

The Pope’s Angelus reflections were taken from this Sunday’s gospel reading where Jesus warns his disciples of the future trials and tribulations they will face along with the false prophets they will encounter en route. The Pope said the two main messages contained here are: “Firstly, do not be taken in by false messiahs and don’t be paralysed by fear . Secondly, live this time of waiting as a time of witness and perseverance.”

He told the faithful that this message from Jesus is just as valid in our present time and encourages us to show "discernment. " “Nowadays,” he continued, “there are many false saviours who try to substitute Jesus, leaders in this world, fake saints and personalities who wish to influence the hearts and minds of people, especially the young.” But Jesus warns us, said the Pope: “Don’t follow them.” At the same time, Jesus also helps us not to be afraid when faced with "wars, revolutions and natural disasters."

Quoting from Christ’s warning to his disciples about “the painful trials and persecutions” facing Christians , the Pope said these trials are an opportunity for witness and stressed they should not cause us to move away from the Lord. Let us spare a thought, he continued, for "our many Christian brothers and sisters who suffer persecution because of their faith. There are so many of them. Maybe, many more than in the early centuries.” “We admire their courage and testimony.”

In his address after the Angelus prayer, Pope Francis noted that Sunday was the World Day in memory of the Victims of Road Accidents and urged drivers to be prudent and respect the rules, saying this helps to protect both the driver and other road users. He concluded by holding up a small box containing 59 threaded beads of the rosary and urging those in the crowd to collect a box from the volunteers distributing it as they left St. Peter’s Square. The Pope described it as “a spiritual medicine,” saying it helps “our souls” and helps “to spread love, forgiveness and fraternity.”