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Pope declares special Sunday each year dedicated to word of God

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VATICAN CITY (CNS) — To help the church grow in love and faithful witness to God, Pope Francis has declared the third Sunday in Ordinary Time to be dedicated to the word of God. Salvation, faith, unity and mercy all depend on knowing Christ and sacred Scripture, he said in a new document. Devoting a special day “to the celebration, study and dissemination of the word of God” will help the church “experience anew how the risen Lord opens up for us the treasury of his word and enables us to proclaim its unfathomable riches before the world,” the pope said. The declaration to have a “Sunday of the Word of God” was made in a new document, given “motu proprio,” on the pope’s own initiative. Its title, “Aperuit Illis,” is based on a verse from the Gospel of St. Luke, “Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.” “The relationship between the risen Lord, the community of believers and sacred Scripture is essential to our identity as Christians,” the pope said in the apostolic letter, released by the Vatican Sept. 30, the feast of St. Jerome, patron saint of biblical scholars.

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