The Holy Father´s Week: March 29, 2010

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

St. Albert the Great, one of the greatest teachers of Medieval theology, was the Pope’s subject  during the general audience. “The title "great" (magnus) with which he has passed into history, indicates the vastness and depth of his doctrine, which he coupled with holiness of life.” The Pope explained.
St. Albert entered the Dominicans and, after studies in Paris, taught in Cologne. He was St. Thomas of Aquinas´ teacher. He served as bishop of Regensburg for four years and then returned to teaching and writing. He played an important part in the Council of Lyons.
“Authentic son of St. Dominic, he preached willingly to the people of God, which were conquered by his word and the example of his life.”
He “reminds us that between science and faith there is friendship, and that the men of science can undertake, through their vocation to the study of nature, a genuine and fascinating journey of sanctity.” The Pope affirmed.
 “With scientific rigor he studied the works of Aristotle, convinced that everything that is rational is compatible with the faith revealed in sacred Scriptures.” the Holy Father said.
Pope Pius XII named him the patron of the natural sciences.
The Holy Father concluded by inviting the faithful to pray that God will continue to send his Church men and women like St. Albert, "learned, pious and wise theologians."
And he added: "May he help each one of us to make our own the 'formula of sanctity' that he followed in his life: ' To want everything that I want for the glory of God, to wish and do everything only and always for his glory.'" VATICAN CITY, MARCH 24, 2010

Being Christian means seeing the way of Jesus Christ as the right way of being human-- as that way that leads to the goal, to a humanity that is fully realized and authentic. The Pope affirmed in the Mass for Palm Sunday in St. Peter's Square. 
Many young people participated in the celebration, which also marked this year's World Youth Day.  “…being Christian is a journey, or better: It is a pilgrimage, it is a going with Jesus Christ. A going in that direction that he has pointed out to us and is pointing out to us.”
“Man can choose an easy path and avoid all toil. He can also descend to what is lower. He can sink into lies and dishonesty.” The Pontiff noted,  “Jesus goes ahead of us, and he goes up to what is above. He leads us to what is great, pure, he leads us to the healthy air of the heights: to life according to truth; to the courage that does not let itself be intimidated by the gossip of dominant opinions; to the patience that stands up for and supports the other”.
“Communion with Christ is being on a journey, a permanent ascent to the true height of our calling. Journeying together with Jesus is always at the same time a traveling together in the "we" of those who want to follow him”.
“Humbly believing with the Church, like being bound together in a roped party ascending to God, is an essential condition for following Christ.” The Pope explained.
“We know that heaven is heaven, a place of glory and peace, because there the will of God rules completely. And we know that earth is not heaven until the will of God is accomplished on it. So we greet Jesus, who comes from heaven and we pray to him to help us know and do God's will. May the royalty of God enter into the world and in this way it be filled with the splendor of peace. Amen.”

Other papal messages and activities

Benedict XVI's Holy Week schedule. On Palm Sunday, March 28, he will celebrate a 9:30 a.m. Mass in St. Peter's Square and the diocesan-level World Youth Day. There will be the customary two Masses on Holy Thursday: the chrism Mass at 9:30 a.m. in St. Peter's Basilica, and the Mass of the Lord's Supper at 5:30 p.m. in the Basilica of St. John Lateran. On Good Friday, April 2, the Holy Father will celebrate the Passion of the Lord at 5 p.m. in St. Peter's Basilica. He will preside over the Easter Vigil at 9 p.m. in St. Peter's Basilica, and on Easter morning, will celebrate Mass at 10:15 a.m. in St. Peter's Square. At midday, he will give his blessing "urbi et orbi" (to the city of Rome and the world).
The collection from Holy Thursday’s second Mass will go to the reconstruction of the seminary in Haiti, which was destroyed by the earthquake in January. VATICAN CITY, MARCH 22, 2010

The world's media received Benedict XVI's letter to Ireland's Catholics as an "unprecedented" document, not only for being the first dedicated by a Pope to the issue, but also because of the grief with which it is written. ROME, MARCH 23, 2010

Mass marking the fifth anniversary of the death of Pope John Paul II. As April 2 falls on Good Friday, Benedict XVI will preside the Mass on March 29. VATICAN CITY, MARCH 23, 2010

An image of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel was blessed by the Pope who gave it to Chile as a sign of his affection after the Feb. 27 earthquake and in congratulations for the nation's bicentennial, celebrated this year. The blessed image will be taken around Chile, beginning with the areas most affected by the earthquake. VATICAN CITY, MARCH 24, 2010

Man will find fulfilment in life only in the measure that he learns to love, Benedict XVI. affirmed in a message he sent to the participants in the 10th International Youth Forum being held in Rocca di Papa. "By the very fact that God is love and man is in his image and likeness, we understand the profound identity of the person, his vocation to love."
Benedict XVI urged the youth participating in the forum "to search with all their heart to discover their vocation to love, as persons and as baptized."
"This is the key to the whole of existence," he explained. "Thus they will be able to invest all their energies in approaching the goal day after day, sustained by the Word of God and by the sacraments of reconciliation and the Eucharist." VATICAN CITY, MARCH 24, 2010
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The Pope accepted the resignation of the Bishop of Cloyne, Ireland. In the Cloyne Diocese it had come to light that there had been cases of sexual abuse of minors on the part of at least two priests that had not been investigated by the bishop.
Bishop John Magee, 73, is the first formal resignation after the publication of a pastoral letter from Benedict XVI on Saturday, regarding the abuse of children in Ireland. In it, the Pope, addressing the bishops, acknowledged that "grave errors of judgment were made and failures of leadership occurred." He asked the prelates to "continue to cooperate with the civil authorities in their area of competence." VATICAN CITY, MARCH 24, 2010

Make the face of the Redeemer shine. The Pope reflected on hunger for the face of God in his message for the 84th World Mission Day, which will be observed Oct. 24. "In a multiethnic society that increasingly experiences forms of worrying loneliness and indifference, Christians must learn to give signs of hope and to be universal brothers, cultivating the great ideals that transform history and, without false illusions or useless fears, be committed to make the planet a home for all peoples," the Holy Father wrote.
"The men of our time," he said, "perhaps not always consciously, ask believers not only to 'speak' of Jesus, but that they make Jesus 'be seen,' that they make the Face of the Redeemer shine in every corner of the earth to the generations of the new millennium, and especially to the young people of every continent." VATICAN CITY, MARCH 25, 2010

The Pope stressed the importance of family relationships: "One of the most important messages that the people of the Nordic lands need to hear from you is a reminder of the centrality of the family for the life of a healthy society," the Holy Father told the bishops of the Scandinavian episcopal conference who are in Rome for their five-yearly visit. "Since the family is the first and indispensable teacher of peace," he pointed out, "the most reliable promoter of social cohesion and the best school of the virtues of good citizenship, it is in the interests of all, and especially of governments, to defend and promote stable family life."  VATICAN CITY, MARCH 25, 2010

A Vatican commission to study the complexities of the Church in China which was established by Benedict XVI in 2007, concluded a three day meeting. One of the emphases proposed by the group was the issue of formation. Benedict XVI also took up this topic when he met with the participants at the end of their discussions.
Commission participants also reiterated hopes for bettering relations between the Church and the government, and in this light, assured their prayers for the release of bishops and priests held as political prisoners. VATICAN CITY, MARCH 25, 2010

The meditations for the Way of the Cross were entrusted to Italian Cardinal Camillo Ruini. He was the Pope's vicar for the Diocese of Rome from 1991 to 2008. The tradition of the Via Crucis in the Colosseum dates back to the 18th century. According to the papal Holy Week program, Benedict XVI will follow with tradition and preside over the prayer service, which will be broadcast live from Rome at 9:15 p.m. VATICAN CITY, MARCH 25, 2010

Benedict XVI offered recipe for beautiful life in an event to mark the 25th World Youth Day where he answered to three questions from young participants. The first question was: "Is it possible to make something beautiful and great of my life?" The trick to finding this "true life," he suggested, lies in following the commandment of love. Love, he continued, is God's fundamental will for all of us.
"But," he clarified, "its application is different in every life, because God has a specific plan for each man. [...] Very different is the holiness of a monk and that of a politician, of a scientist and a peasant, and so on. And thus for every man God has his plan and I must find, in my circumstances, my way of living this unique and common will of God."
"To love God, implies to know God, to recognize God. And this is the first step we must take: to seek to know God," the Pope said. "And thus we know that our life does not exist by accident, it is not an accident. My life is willed by God from eternity. I am loved, I am necessary. God has a plan for me in the totality of history; he has a plan specifically for me. My life is important and also necessary. Eternal love has created me in profundity and awaits me." VATICAN CITY, MARCH 26, 2010
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Benedict XVI discussed the problems of poverty and emigration facing Guatemala upon receiving in audience the country's president, Álvaro Colom Caballeros. VATICAN CITY, MARCH 26, 2010
Official program for Pope´s Portugal trip was released. It will coincide with the 10th anniversary of the beatification of the Fatima visionaries. The Pope will be in that Country May 11 to 14.

Pontiff requests prayers for peace in the Holy Land. "In this moment our thoughts and our hearts are directed in a special way toward Jerusalem," he said, "where the paschal mystery was accomplished." He said during the Angelus. "Let us pray therefore, that those who are responsible for the fate of Jerusalem enter the way of peace with courage and follow it with perseverance." VATICAN CITY, MARCH 14, 2010

Live video and audio stream online will be available with the Holy Week and Easter celebrations presided over by Benedict XVI. Web site VATICAN CITY, MARCH 28, 2010

New Nuncio to Yemen and the United Arab Emirates. Benedict XVI appointed Archbishop Petar Rajic, who is currently apostolic nuncio to Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar. VATICAN CITY, MARCH 26, 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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