The Holy Father´s Week: October 19, 2009

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

Benedict XVI spoke about Peter the Venerable during the general audience in St. Peter's Square. This saint was named abbot of Cluny in 1122. His ability to combine love of God with sincere love of neighbour found expression in a lively sense of the Church, the Holy Father explained, and quoted what he said "He is not nourished by Christ who does not feel the wounds of the Body of Christ," wherever these are produced."

Despite his pressing responsibilities and frequent travels in the service of the Church, Peter maintained a contemplative spirit, deep inner tranquillity, rigorous asceticism and a capacity for warm friendships. 
“All those who knew him praised his elegant meekness, serene balance, self-control, correctness, loyalty, lucidity and special attitude in mediating”, the Pope affirmed, and he cited some of the abbot's writings, including this rule of life: "You will be able to obtain more from a man by tolerating him, than by irritating him with complaints."
Benedict XVI continued, “ he showed care and solicitude even for those who were outside the Church, in particular for the Jews and Muslims: to foster knowledge of the latter he had the Quran translated. In this regard, a recent historian observed: "Amid the intransigence of the men of Medieval times, also among the greatest of them, we admire here a sublime example of the delicacy to which Christian charity leads" 
According to the testimony of his biographer, "he did not disregard or refuse anyone" and  "he seemed gracious to all; in his innate goodness, he was open to all"
the Holy Father affirmed that by his ability to combine prayer and contemplation with love of neighbour and a commitment to the renewal of society, Peter the Venerable serves as an example to Christians today in their efforts to live holy and integrated lives in our often stressful society. VATICAN CITY, OCT. 14, 2009

The Church exists to proclaim this message of hope to all of humanity” the Holy Father said before praying the Angelus on World Mission Day.
“Led by the Holy Spirit, she knows that she is called to continue the work of Jesus himself, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, which “is justice, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit”(… )“All its members and articulations cooperate in such a project, according to the different states of life and charisms”, he added. 

“On this World Mission Day I would like to recall the missionaries -- priests, men and women religious and lay volunteers -- who consecrate their existence to bringing the Gospel into the world, even facing hardships and difficulties and sometimes real persecutions.”

The Pope mentioned Father Ruggero Ruvoletto, a priest of the Donum Fidei missionaries, recently killed in Brazil and Father Michael Sinnot, a religious, taken hostage a few days ago in the Philippines and thanked the Pontifical Missionary Societies “for the precious service that they give to missionary animation and formation.”
 "And how can I not think of what is emerging from the synod of bishops of Africa in terms of extreme sacrifice and love for Christ and his Church?" he added, and asked all Christians "to make a gesture of material and spiritual sharing to help the young Churches of the poorest countries." VATICAN CITY, OCT. 18

Other papal messages and activities.

Benedict XVI will visit the Synagogue of Rome in January on a day set aside for dialogue between Catholics and Jews, the Vatican press office reported. For Benedict XVI, the visit to the Synagogue of Rome will be the third visit to a Jewish place of worship during his pontificate. He visited the Synagogue of Cologne, Germany, in Aug. 2005, and the Synagogue of Park East in New York, in April 2008.VATICAN CITY, OCT. 14, 2009

The Pope appointed new bishops.  Father Paul Sirba, vicar-general of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, was appointed bishop of Duluth, Minnesota; Father Fernando Isern, a priest of the Archdiocese of Miami, bishop of the Diocese of Pueblo, Colorado and Monsignor Robert C. Evans of the Diocese of Providence, was appointed auxiliary of the same diocese. DULUTH, Minnesota, OCT. 15, 2009

"Access to Food Is a Fundamental Right of Persons and Nations" The Holy Father said in a letter he sent to FAO Director on World Food Day. Ensuring that people have access to food is protecting their right to life, Benedict XVI wrote. “It is, in fact, a concrete manifestation of the right to life, which, though solemnly proclaimed, often continues to be far from full realization”.
 World Food Day, observed every year on Oct. 16, commemorates the anniversary of the foundation of the FAO in 1945. The theme for this year is: "Achieving Food Security in Times of Crisis." VATICAN CITY, OCT. 16, 2009

Defending the right to life and the need for moral education were two key topics today at a meeting between Benedict XVI and Prince Albert II of Monaco, the Vatican reported.
 Albert II is patron of the 2nd International Congress on Responsible Stem Cell Research, which will be held next month in Monaco.The congress, organized by the World Federation of the Catholic Medical Associations, will take place Nov. 26-28. The Pontifical Academy for Life, the Bioethical Consultative Committee of Monaco, and the Foundation Jérôme Lejeune are co-organizers.The theme of the congress is "Adult Somatic Stem Cells: New Perspectives." VATICAN CITY, OCT. 16, 2009

Benedict XVI received Ukraine’s Prime Minister, Yulia Vladimirovna Timoshenko. A communiqué from the Vatican press office reported that during the meeting between the two leaders, they turned their attention "to the contribution made by the Catholic Church, of both rites, to Ukrainian society, especially in the field of education and in spreading human and Christian values." VATICAN CITY, OCT. 16, 2009

Benedict XVI will visit the Rome headquarters of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization on Nov.15, for the opening day of its World Summit on Food Security.  VATICAN CITY, OCT. 13, 2009

Music can become prayer. Benedict XVI said at the end of a concert offered in his honor in Paul VI Hall by the Accademia Pianistica Internazionale di Imola. “Music, great music,” he affirmed, “gives the spirit repose, awakens profound sentiments and almost naturally invites us to lift up our mind and heart to God in every situation, whether joyous or sad, of human existence.” The Pontiff thanked the Chinese pianist Jin Ju.  VATICAN CITY, OCT. 18, 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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