Pope Francis said Sunday that God’s glory and our true happiness are not found in success, fame, or popularity but in loving and forgiving others.

In his Angelus address on March 17, the pope asked: How it is possible that God’s glory is manifest in the humiliation of the cross?

“One would think it happened in the Resurrection, not on the cross, which is a defeat, a failure,” he said. “Instead, today, talking about his passion, Jesus says: ‘The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified’ (Jn 12:23). What does he mean?”

The pope explained that “for God, glory is to love to the point of giving one’s life.”

“Glorification, for him, means giving himself, making himself accessible, offering his love,” he said.

“And this reached its culmination on the cross, where Jesus outspread God’s love to the maximum, fully revealing the face of mercy, giving us life and forgiving his executioners.”

Pope Francis underlined that giving and forgiveness “are very different criteria to what we see around us, and also within us, when we think of glory.”

Yet while worldly glory fades, this Christian way of life brings lasting happiness, he explained.

“And so, we can ask ourselves: What is the glory I desire for myself, for my life, that I dream of for my future?” Francis asked.

“That of impressing others with my prowess, my abilities, or the things I possess? Or the path of giving and forgiveness, that of the crucified Jesus, the way of those who never tire of loving, confident that this bears witness to God in the world and makes the beauty of life shine? What glory do I want for myself?”

“Indeed, let us remember that when we give and forgive, God’s glory shines in us,” Pope Francis said.

After praying the Angelus prayer in Latin from the window of the Apostolic Palace with the crowd gathered below in St. Peter’s Square, the pope asked people to pray for war-torn populations in Ukraine, Palestine, Israel, and Syria.

Pope Francis expressed his relief at the release of some of the religious brothers kidnapped three weeks ago in Haiti as he made an appeal for the “beloved country tried by so much violence.”

Four of the six religious from the Brothers of the Sacred Heart Institute who were kidnapped in Port-au-Prince on Feb. 23 have been freed, along with a teacher. The pope called for the release of the two remaining kidnapped religious and all other people who have suffered at the hands of kidnappers in Haiti.

The pope called on all political leaders and social actors in Haiti to “abandon all special interests and to engage in a spirit of solidarity in the pursuit of the common good” while supporting “a peaceful transition to a country … that is equipped with solid institutions capable of restoring order and tranquility among its citizens.”

Before waving goodbye to the crowd, the pope gave a shoutout to the athletes who ran in the Rome marathon on Sunday morning, especially the volunteers and runners from the Vatican’s own sports club, Athletica Vaticana.