The Holy Father´s Week: March 8, 2010

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

Benedict XVI reflected on St Bonaventure during the general audience. The Pontiff showed his great esteem for this 13th century saint and doctor of the Church, one of the important figures from his years as a young scholar.
The Holy Father explained that when the saint finished the equivalent of secondary school "John [later Bonaventure] asked himself a crucial question: 'What must I do with my life?'"
He experienced the questions that so many young people ask. The answer to his query led him to join the Franciscans.
He became a distinguished theologian and teacher in the University of Paris, and it was there, the Pope noted, that “To respond to those who were criticizing the Mendicant Orders, he composed a writing titled "Evangelical Perfection."
 “The teaching offered by Bonaventure in this work of his and in his life is always timely: The Church becomes luminous and beautiful by fidelity to the vocation of those sons and daughters of hers who not only put into practice the evangelical precepts, but who, by the grace of God, are called to observe their advice and thus give witness, with their poor, chaste and obedient lifestyle, that the Gospel is source of joy and perfection.”
Later, he was elected minister-general of the Franciscan Order. 
His biography of St. Francis, which presented the Founder as alter Christus, a passionate follower of Christ, was to prove most influential in consolidating the charism of the Franciscan Order.
Named a Bishop and Cardinal, He was also asked to prepare the Second Ecumenical Council of Lyon, which was to re-establish communion between the Latin and the Greek Churches. "He dedicated himself to this task with diligence," the Pope said, "but was unable to see the conclusion of that ecumenical summit, as he died while it was being held."
 St. Bonaventure’s writings still inspire us by their wisdom penetrated by deep love of Christ and mystical yearning for the vision of God and the joy of our heavenly homeland.  VATICAN CITY, MARCH 3, 2010

God "Is good and cannot will evil" Benedict XVI affirmed at the Angelus. In today’s Gospel Jesus is questioned about some sorrowful events: the killing in the Temple of some Galileans on the order of Pontius Pilate and the collapse of a tower on some passers-by (cf. Luke 13:1-5).
“In the face of the facile conclusion that the evil is the effect of divine punishment,” the Holy Father explained,  “Jesus restores the true image of God, who is good and cannot will evil, and warning people not to think that these misfortunes are the immediate effect of the personal guilt of those who suffered them.”
“Jesus invites us to interpret these facts differently” the Pope affirmed, “connecting them with conversion”
“ In the face of sin, God shows himself to be full of mercy and he does not fail to call sinners to avoid evil, to grow in his love and to concretely help our neighbor in need, to live the joy of grace and not risk eternal death.”
 “In the presence of suffering and grief, true wisdom is to let oneself be called from the precariousness of existence and to read human history with God’s eyes, who, always and only wanting the good of his children, by an inscrutable plan of his love, sometimes allows them to be tried through suffering to lead them to a greater good.”
“Dear friends,” the Holy Father ended “ let us pray to Mary Most Holy, who accompanies us on the Lenten journey, to help every Christian to return to the Lord with his whole heart. May she sustain our firm decision to renounce evil and to accept God’s will in our life with faith.” VATICAN CITY, MARCH 7, 2010

Other papal messages and activities.

Prayer intentions for March. The Pope’s general intention for this month is: "That the world economy may be managed according to the principles of justice and equity, taking account of the real needs of peoples, especially the poorest."
The apostolic intention: "That the Churches in Africa may be signs and instruments of reconciliation and justice in every part of that continent." VATICAN CITY, MARCH 1, 2010

The Pope appointed Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches, as a member of the Congregation for Bishops. VATICAN CITY, MARCH 2, 2010

Benedict XVI recalled the 200th anniversary of the birth of Frederick Chopin, mentioning the musician when he greeted Polish-speaking pilgrims at the general audience. VATICAN CITY, MARCH 3, 2010

The Holy Father will visit Spain in November. This Nov. 6 he will visit Santiago de Compostela for the Jacobeo Holy Year, the next day he will go to Barcelona to consecrate that city's church of the Sagrada Familia. He is scheduled to visit Spain for a third time in August 2011 for World Youth Day in Madrid. SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA, Spain, MARCH 3, 2010

Benedict XVI sent a message to French storm victims in which he expressed his "profound sympathy" to the families of the more than 50 people who died as a result of the storm Xynthia, which brought flooding to the coastline of southwestern France on Sunday. PARIS, MARCH 4, 2010

The Pope greeted a delegation from Sophia University of Japan. The Sophia University was founded by three Jesuits in 1913. VATICAN CITY, MARCH 4, 2010

High definition images of the Pope will be available by October, according to the director of the Vatican press office. Vatican TV is purchasing a mobile unit from Sony that allows for television filming in high definition. The Knights of Columbus will help finance the new mobile unit. VATICAN CITY, MARCH 4, 2010

Papal address to Ugandan bishops in Rome for their five-yearly "ad limina" visit.
He urged them to help "priests as well as the lay faithful, to resist the seduction of a materialistic culture of individualism which has taken root in so many countries."
He spoke about the need "to encourage the Catholics of Uganda to appreciate fully the sacrament of marriage in its unity and indissolubility, and the sacred right to life."
The Pontiff underlined the importance of helping the people "develop a sense of responsibility towards themselves, their community and their Church, and become more deeply imbued with a Catholic spirit of sensitivity to the needs of the universal Church."
He made a particular mention of those affected by the recent landslide in the Bududa region of Uganda and offered his "prayers to Almighty God, the Father of all mercies” for the souls of the deceased, and for all those who are “suffering the consequences of this tragic event."VATICAN CITY, MARCH 5, 2010

The Holy Father offered his prayers for the people of Chile, recently devastated by an 8.8-magnitude earthquake, that they will find hope in the midst of disaster. "I raise fervent prayers to the Lord that he would give his consolation to those affected by such an enormous disaster and inspire in all people sentiments of Christian hope and fraternal solidarity to help them overcome adversity," the Holy Father added.
Chile´s President M. Bachelet expressed gratitude toward the Catholic Church for its support and spiritual accompaniment to the quake survivors. SANTIAGO, Chile, MARCH 5, 2010

Papal pastoral visit to the parish of San Giovanni della Croce in the northern part of the Diocese of Rome. During the homily the Pontiff noted that “During Lent each of us is invited by God to bring about a change in our lives, thinking and living according to the Gospel, correcting something in our way of praying, of acting, of working and in our relations with others.”
“ Jesus makes this appeal to us not with a severity that is an end in itself but precisely because he is concerned about our good, our happiness, our salvation.”
“On our part”, the Pope said, “we have to answer him with a sincere interior effort, asking him to make us understand those particular things about us that we need to change.” ROME, MARCH 7, 2010

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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