5 Characteristics of Friendship from Pope Francis

C. S. Lewis, in his book The Four Loves, said that friendship “is the instrument by which God reveals to each of us the beauties of others.”

Below are five characteristics of friendship that Pope Francis has highlighted during his years as Saint Peter’s successor:

1. Friendship is a generous, self-giving love, which leads us to seek the true good of our friend.

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Documentary About the Prelate’s 2018 Trip to Brazil

Three years have gone by since the pastoral visit to Brazil by the Prelate of Opus Dei, Monsignor Fernando Ocáriz. During the two weeks he spent in that country he had a number of get-togethers with large numbers of people, both in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.

The fifth largest country in the world, Brazil has a population of almost 210 million people. The diversity of ethnic groups and social backgrounds of the country’s people is highlighted in the video: a parachutist, a woman judge, a health commissioner, a journalist, etc. The apostolic work of Opus Dei began in Brazil in 1957.

Monsignor Ocáriz listened to their concerns and dreams, speaking about God’s love for us, love for the Pope, the great value of friendship and freedom, and how to confront events that cause us suffering.

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In Sickness and in Health

Back in 2001 Javier was 26 years old and worked in a graphic arts business. He was on the road all day, traveling up and down the highways. On one especially rainy day in Valencia, his car skidded into the opposite lane just as a truck was approaching. After weeks of intense suffering, he was left a tetraplegic.

At that time he had been dating Begoña, who worked as a travel agent and was a Cooperator of Opus Dei. Begoña prayed to Saint Josemaría and Eduardo Ortiz de Landázuri (a doctor in the process of beatification) for Javier’s recovery. “He was so badly injured that for me it’s a miracle he even survived,” she says.

Two years later, against everyone’s advice, they decided to get married. “But I’m going to be your wife. Not your caregiver or nurse,” Begoña told him. And that’s how it has turned out. Over the years she has often had to take special care of Javier, but always with the love of a spouse.

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