The Holy Father´s Week: October 12, 2009
A report on Benedict XVI´s messages and activities.
by Maribel de Torres | Source: Zenit.org
The Holy Father reflected on the patron of pharmacists, during the general audience. St John Leonardi (1541-1609), trained as a pharmacist and later became a priest. “However,” the Pontiff said,“ he did not abandon his passion for pharmaceutics because he felt that professional mediation as a pharmacist would allow him to realize fully his vocation of transmitting to men, through a holy life, "the medicine of God," which is Jesus Christ crucified and risen, "measure of all things."
“In May 1605 he sent newly elected Pope Paul V a report in which he suggested the criteria for a genuine renewal of the Church”. The Holy Father said, “He observed that "whoever wishes to carry out a serious moral and religious reform must make first of all, like a good doctor, a careful diagnosis of the evils that beset the Church so as to be able to prescribe for each of them the most appropriate remedy."
He understood that every reform is made within the Church and never against the Church. “He saw the Church with great realism, her human frailty, but also her being "God's field," the instrument of God for the salvation of humanity.”
“He was not scandalized by her human weaknesses. To oppose the weeds he chose to be good wheat: He decided, that is, to love Christ in the Church and to contribute to render her an ever more transparent sign of him.”
“For love of Christ he worked with alacrity to purify the Church, to render her more beautiful and holy”
At a period of great reform and renewal in the life of the Church, he made the crucified Christ the centre of his preaching and the criterion of all his activity. It was love for Christ which inspired his efforts to catechize the young, to promote missionary activity and to renew Christian life and practice. VATICAN CITY, OCT. 7, 2009
“Jesus invites his disciples to the total giving of their lives, without calculation or personal gain, with unfailing trust in God.” The Pope said at the canonization Mass. “This is what was done by the five saints who today, with great joy, are being put forward for veneration by the universal Church.”
“Their perfection, in the logic of a faith that is humanly incomprehensible at times, consists in no longer placing themselves at the centre, but choosing to go against the flow and live according to the Gospel.”
The Pope commented on each one of the new saints.
Archbishop Zygmunt Szsczêsny Feliñsk (1822-1895), archbishop of Warsaw and founder of the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of the Family of Mary, "was a great witness of faith and pastoral charity in very difficult times for the nation and for the Church in Poland," said Benedict XVI.
Dominican Father Francisco Coll (1812-1875), founder of the Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who "reached the hearts of others because he transmitted what he himself lived with passion, that which burned in his heart: the love of Christ, his devotion to Him."
Jozef De Veuster (1840-1889), of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, "Not without fear and repugnance, he chose to go to the Island of Molokai to serve the lepers who were there, abandoned by all; thus he exposed himself to the disease they suffered from. He felt at home with them. The Servant of the Word thus became a suffering servant, a leper with lepers, during the last four years of his life."
Brother Rafael Arnáiz (1911-1938), who was 27 when he died as an oblate of the Trappists of Saint Isidore de Duenas, "Brother Rafael, still close to us, continues to offer, through his example and his works, a fascinating journey, especially for young persons who are not satisfied easily, but who aspire to the full truth, the most inexpressible joy, reached for the love of God."
Blessed Marie de la Croix Jugan (1792-1879, founder of the Congregation of the Little Sisters of the Poor, "Lived the mystery of love by peacefully accepting darkness and divesting herself of all material possessions until her death."
"Let us give thanks to the Lord for the gift of sanctity that today shines in the Church with a singular beauty," the Pontiff concluded. "While I salute each of you affectionately [...] I would like to invite all of you to let yourselves be drawn by the shining example of these saints, to allow yourselves to be guided by their teachings, so that our whole existence can become a hymn of praise to the love of God."
VATICAN CITY, OCT. 11, 2009
The Holy Father confirms the importance of praying the Rosary. He recommended it to young people, “so that it will help you to do God's will and to find in the Immaculate Heart of Mary a safe refuge”.
To the sick, “because with her you will be able to face moments of trial”; and to newlyweds, “may the recitation of this prayer be for you a daily appointment for your family which will thus grow, thanks to the intercession of Mary, in unity and fidelity to the Gospel.”
Noting that today is the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, he entrusted the synod on Africa under way at the Vatican to Our Lady of the Rosary and asked the faithful: "Unite with me in entrusting this important event in the life of the Church to the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Rosary. VATICAN CITY, OCT. 7, 2009
Other papal messages and activities
Benedict XVI will visit Portugal in 2010 as a "pilgrim of Fatima," the Portuguese Bishops conference stated. The Pontiff's visit to Fatima, May 12-13, coincides with the 10th anniversary of the beatification of the little shepherds Francisco and Jacinta, and with the commemoration of the centenary of the latter's birth. LISBON, Portugal, OCT. 7, 2009
Benedict XVI appointed a new bishop for Gaylord, Michigan. Monsignor Bernard Hebda, succeeds Bishop Patrick Cooney, whose resignation the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit. GAYLORD, Michigan, OCT. 7, 2009
The Pope gave an award to Mother Angelica. He conferred the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Medal on the founder of the Eternal World Television Network and to Deacon Bill Steltemeier who helped the TV channel to succeed. IRONDALE, Alabama, OCT. 7, 2009
Love conquers all, even in Africa. “Love is what will overcome and heal the divisions that exist between ethnic groups and tribes on the African continent” Benedict XVI said in the meditation he gave at the first general congregation of the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops. He prayed for a new Pentecost for the continent. VATICAN CITY, OCT. 5, 2009
Don't Exclude Church from Social Life, Benedict XVI urged the European bishops in a message sent to the Council of European Bishops' Conferences. The council held its plenary assembly in Paris, in which it focused on the theme "Church-State Relations 20 Years After the Fall of the Berlin Wall." VATICAN CITY, OCT. 6, 2009
Benedict XVI met with President Mahmud Abbas of the Palestinian National Authority. "In the course of the cordial conversations, a dialogue was opened on the situation in the Middle East and, in particular, on the need to find a just and lasting solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, with which the rights of all are recognized and respected," the Vatican press office reported after the 15-minute meeting. VATICAN CITY, OCT. 8, 2009.
Cardinal William Levada, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, was named by Benedict XVI as a counselor to the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. VATICAN CITY, OCT.8, 2009
The memory of World War II should spur society to build a "true civilization" that is no longer based on hatred, violence and force, Benedict XVI said at the Concert "Youth Against War: 70 Years from the Start of World War II," "It is necessary that we build together the true civilization, which is no longer based on force, but is the fruit of the victory over ourselves, over the forces of injustice, egoism and hatred, which can disfigure man," Benedict XVI exclaimed.
"The ecumenical movement, which found a catalyst in World War II, can contribute to build it, working together with the Jews and all believers."he concluded.
The concert was organized by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, the Vatican Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, the German Embassy to the Holy See and the European Cultural Forum of the cultural association of Mainau. VATICAN CITY, OCT. 9, 2009
"The Virgin Mary is the Star that guides every journey of sanctity" The Holy Father said after presiding at the canonization of five new saints, and before praying the Angelus.
”We turn to the Mother of Christ with filial confidence, asking, through her intercession and that of the newly canonized saints, for peace and salvation.”
The Pope spoke to pilgrims in French, English, German, Spanish, Italian, Polish and Flemish. VATICAN CITY, OCT. 11, 2009
The Pope presided at the praying of the rosary with participants from the special assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops, university students from Roman colleges and young people from nine African capitals who participated through satellite hook up.
He entrusted to Mary´s maternal protection the success of the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops. “May her intercession sustain Christians everywhere, especially the peoples of Africa, and may her example teach us to turn to the Lord and persevere in prayer in our sorrows and our joys.” The Pontiff said. VATICAN CITY, OCT. 11, 2009
Benedict XVI received King Albert II of Belgium and his wife Queen Paola. And he also received the French prime minister, François Fillon, in audience Saturday morning at the Vatican. VATICAN CITY, OCT. 11, 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.