The Holy Father´s Week. (July/ 6 /2009)

A report on Benedict XVI´s messages and activities.
by Maribel de Torres | Source:

The Holy Father invited the Disciples of Christ, to be "living stones," packed together around him who is the "living stone, rejected by men, but chosen and precious in the sight of God". 
"Resist being conformed to the mentality of this world" On the feast of the holy apostles St. Peter and St. Paul, the Holy Father exhorted those gathered in St. Peter’s Square “to remain faithful to your Christian vocation, to resist being conformed to the mentality of this world -- as the Apostle to the Gentiles wrote precisely to the Christians of Rome -- and always to allow yourselves to be transformed and renewed by the Gospel, to follow what is truly good and pleasing to God” (cf. Romans 12:2).

"One who prays is not afraid; one who prays is never alone", said the Holy Father during the general audience in St. Peter's Square.  He explained that the constant reference point in the Year for Priests will be St. John Vianney, the holy Curé d'Ars, recalling the 150th anniversary of his death.
And he “St. John Vianney is undoubtedly a model of an existence made prayer”, he said. “Prayer is the first task, the true path of sanctification for priests, and the soul of an authentic "vocational ministry."  Benedict XVI affirmed. ”One who prays is not afraid; one who prays is never alone; one who prays is saved!” 
"Having received such an extraordinary gift of grace with their 'consecration,' priests become permanent witnesses of their encounter with Christ”
“The priest is a man totally belonging to the Lord, because it is God himself who calls him and who establishes him in his apostolic service. And precisely being totally of God, he is totally of mankind, for all people.”
“The ministry of every priest is essentially "cultic", in the fullest sense of the word: it is meant to enable the faithful to offer their lives to God as a pleasing sacrifice (cf. Rom 12:1)”
“During this Year may the whole Church pray and work more fervently for the sanctification of priests, an increase of priestly vocations, and a greater appreciation of the role of the priest in the life of the ecclesial community.” VATICAN CITY, JULY 1, 2009

¿When will men learn that life is sacred?  The Holy Father asked when he prayed the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter´s Square. He recalled what is written in Genesis that the blood of Abel, killed by his brother Cain, cried out to God from the earth (cf. 4:10).
 And, he continued, “Unfortunately, today as yesterday, this cry does not cease, since human blood continues to run because of violence, injustice and hatred. When will men learn that life is sacred and belongs to God alone? When will men understand that we are all brothers?”
 “To the cry of the blood that goes up from many parts of the earth”, the Pope affirmed, “God answers with the blood of his Son, who gave his life for us. Christ did not answer evil with evil, but with good, with his infinite love. The blood of Christ is the pledge of the faithful love of God for humanity”
“Looking upon the wounds of the Crucified, every man, even in conditions of extreme moral misery, can say: God has not abandoned me, he loves me, he gave his life for me -- and in this way rediscover hope”
“May the Virgin Mary, who beneath the cross, together with the apostle John, witnessed the testament of Jesus' blood, help us to rediscover the inestimable riches of this grace, and to feel profound and perennial gratitude for it”. VATICAN CITY, JULY 5, 2009

Other papal messages and activities: 

Benedict XVI´s third encyclical is ready. “Caritas in Veritate” aims to help humanity in the effort to achieve sustainable progress. The Holy Father said the encyclical is a reflection on the conditions necessary for "integral development." He added that it returns to social themes found in "Populorum Progressio," written by Pope Paul VI in 1967. VATICAN CITY, JUNE 30, 2009

Benedict XVI bestowed the palium on 34 new metropolitan archbishops.  The palium "knit with the wool from the lambs that the Pope blesses on the feast of St. Agnes”, represents both Christ's flock and Christ himself, the Good Shepherd, the Pope explained. VATICAN CITY, JUNE 30, 2009

Concern yourselves with being exemplary pastors, diligent and full of love for the Lord and your communities.”Benedict XVI asked the metropolitan archbishops who received the pallium Monday. The Pope made this exhortation when he received the 34 prelates, their families, and representatives of their respective archdioceses in Paul VI Hall today. VATICAN CITY, JUNE 30, 2009

The Holy Father expressed his condolences for a train explosion in Italy and a plane accident in the Indian Ocean where approximately165 people lost their lives. He offered his prayers for families of the victims and entrusted the deceased to God's mercy. VATICAN CITY, JUNE 30, 2009

The general intention Benedict XVI chose for July is: "That the Christians of the Middle East may live their faith in full freedom and be an instrument of peace and reconciliation”
The apostolic intention is: "That the Church may be the seed and nucleus of  humanity reconciled and reunited in God's one and only family, thanks to the testimony of all the faithful in every country of the world." VATICAN CITY, JULY 1, 2009

Usury and extortion is a humiliating form of slavery. The Pope said at the end of the General audience and he greeted the Italian National Anti-Usury Council. He expressed his hope "that there will be a renewed determination by everyone to effectively work against the devastating phenomenon of usury and extortion”, VATICAN CITY, JULY 1, 2009 

Benedict XVI's 20 catecheses on St. Paul have been collected in a volume published by the Vatican publishing house. It is titled "L' Apostolo Paolo, Catechesi Paoline" (The Apostle Paul: Pauline Catechesis). VATICAN CITY, JULY 2, 2009

The newly restored Pauline Chapel, which contains the two final works of Michelangelo, will be inaugurated by Benedict XVI. VATICAN CITY, JULY 1, 2009

The Pope recognises a miracle attributed to the intercession of Cardinal John Newman. He authorized the promulgation of decrees recognizing miracles, martyrdom and heroic virtue in several causes for canonization. VATICAN CITY, JULY 3, 2009

Benedict's schedule for his  apostolic journey to the Czech Republic in September was released today. His first stop will be at the Church of Our Lady Victorious, which houses the Infant Jesus of Prague. VATICAN CITY, JULY 3, 2009

Benedict XVI appointed Archbishop M. Monteiro de Castro, 71, currently serving as nuncio to Spain, as secretary of the Congregation for Bishops. VATICAN CITY, JULY 3, 2009

 “I raise up my voice to condemn once again recourse to violence, which never constitutes a worthy way to solve problems”. The Pope said after he had prayed the midday Angelus with crowds gathered in St. Peter's Square.
The Pontiff  condemned a bomb attack in the Philippines where at least five people were killed and dozens more were wounded when a bomb was set off outside the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Cotabato city as Archbishop Orlando Quevedo celebrated Sunday morning Mass. The Holy Father said he prays to God for the victims of this ignoble act,  VATICAN CITY, JULY 5, 2009

Benedict XVI urged secure working environments, as the death toll from a train accident that occurred Monday night in Viareggio in northern Italy continues to rise. "As I lift up my sorrowful prayer to God for all the persons involved in the tragedy, I hope that similar accidents no more occur and that everyone be guaranteed security in work and in the living of daily life." The Holy Father said today after praying the midday Angelus VATICAN CITY, JULY 5, 2009

The heads of the national vocation offices of the European Episcopal conferences met in Rome. The Holy Father recalled the duty of priests and animators to be a "grain of wheat [...] that knows how to live hidden in the clamor and noise" and "that renounces the pursuit of that visibility and image that today often become the criteria and indeed the purposes of life in many parts of our culture, and fascinate many young people." VATICAN CITY, JULY 5, 2009

Aid needs to keep coming because of crisis. Benedict XVI exhorted world leaders to look at the economic crisis as a reason to continue sending aid to underdeveloped nations, not as an excuse to stop. The Pope made this invitation in a letter addressed to Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in view of the Group of Eight summit to take place this week in L'Aquila, Italy. VATICAN CITY, JULY 5, 2009

The Holy Father praised former Vatican Radio director. Jesuit Father P. Borgomeo, who had served as the director of Vatican Radio for two decades died this Thursday at 76. He had resigned from the directorship of Vatican Radio in 2005. VATICAN CITY, JULY 5, 2009

A prayer for the Holy Father
Christ Jesus, King and Lord of the Church, in your presence I renew my unconditional loyalty to your Vicar on earth, the Pope. In him you have chosen to show us the safe and sure path that we must follow in the midst of confusion, uneasiness, and unrest. I firmly believe that through him you govern, teach, and sanctify us; with him as our shepherd, we form the true Church: one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. Grant me the grace to love, live, and spread faithfully our Holy Father’s teachings. Watch over his life, enlighten his mind, strengthen his spirit, defend him from calumny and evil. Calm the erosive winds of infidelity and disobedience. Hear our prayer and keep your Church united around him, firm in its belief and action, that it may truly be the instrument of your redemption. Amen.

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