The Holy Father´s Week: June 14, 2010

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

Benedict XVI reviewed his trip to Cyprus at the general audience. Last week the Pope made his 16th international trip: a three-day apostolic journey to that island.
"I returned to the Vatican with a spirit brimming with gratitude to God and with sincere sentiments of affection and esteem for the inhabitants of Cyprus, by whom I felt welcomed and understood!" He affirmed.

   "In the noble Cypriot land", he said, "I was able to see the apostolic work of the different traditions of the one Church of Christ and I was almost able to feel so many hearts beating in unison, precisely as the theme of the journey affirmed: "One heart, one soul.""

   "The Cypriot Catholic community, in its Maronite, Armenian and Latin expressions, makes an incessant effort to be one heart and one soul, both among itself as well as in cordial and constructive relations with Orthodox brothers and with the other Christian denominations."

   The Holy Father affirmed that the "culminating moment" of the journey was the presentation of the working document for the upcoming synod on the Middle East which will be held in Rome this October. VATICAN CITY, JUNE 9, 2010

On ZENIT's Web page:Full text:

Rome witnessed a first in its history: Benedict XVI and 15,000 priest-concelebrants closed the Year for Priests with a Mass for the feast of the Sacred Heart, this being the Eucharistic celebration with the greatest number of concelebrants. St. Peter's Square was teeming with priests from every corner of the globe, as well as 80 cardinals and 350 archbishops and bishops.

   Priests began to file in at 7:30 a.m. for the 10 a.m. Mass -- thousands of them have been in Rome for the three days of closing celebrations that culminated today. VATICAN CITY, JUNE 10, 2010

Benedict XVI reflected on the "audacity of God". In his homily, the Bishop of Rome explained that the priesthood is not simply an "office" but a sacrament: "God makes use of us poor men in order to be, through us, present to all men and women, and to act on their behalf." He said. "This audacity of God is the true grandeur concealed in the word "priesthood"."

   "This is what we wanted to reflect upon and appreciate anew over the course of the past year." He affirmed.

   "It was to be expected that this new radiance of the priesthood would not be pleasing to the "enemy";" he affirmed, "he would have rather preferred to see it disappear, so that God would ultimately be driven out of the world."

   "And so it happened that, in this very year of joy for the sacrament of the priesthood, the sins of priests came to light – particularly the abuse of the little ones, in which the priesthood, whose task is to manifest God’s concern for our good, turns into its very opposite."

   "We too insistently beg forgiveness from God and from the persons involved, while promising to do everything possible to ensure that such abuse will never occur again." The Pope continued.

   "So let us look upon all that happened as a summons to purification, as a task which we bring to the future and which makes us acknowledge and love all the more the great gift we have received from God. In this way, his gift becomes a commitment to respond to God's courage and humility by our own courage and our own humility."

   He explained: "Had the Year for Priests been a glorification of our individual human performance, it would have been ruined by these events. But for us what happened was precisely the opposite: We grew in gratitude for God’s gift, a gift concealed in 'earthen vessels' which ever anew, even amid human weakness, makes his love concretely present in this world."

   Priests and the whole Church wanted to use this year, the Pope said, to "make clear once again that we have to ask God for this vocation. We have to beg for workers for God's harvest."

   This petition, he proposed, is itself God's "own way of knocking on the hearts of young people who consider themselves able to do what God considers them able to do."

   "At the end of the celebration, before the conclusive blessing, the Holy Father renewed the act of consecration of priests to the Most Holy Virgin, according to the formula used on the occasion of his recent pilgrimage to Fatima." VATICAN CITY, JUNE 10, 2010

On ZENIT's Web page:Full text:

"They will see their fruits" Before praying the Angelus, the Pope reflected on the Year for Priests that ended Friday. "I would like to give thanks to God for all the good things that have come to the universal Church this year. No one could ever measure them but certainly they see them and still more they will see their fruits." He said.

   The Pontiff reflected on how the year concluded with Friday's solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, traditionally the "day of priestly sanctification." He said the closing celebrations in Rome with some 15,000 priests from around the world were "unforgettable days."

   Benedict XVI affirmed that "The priest is formed by Christ's charity itself, that love that moved him to give his life for his friends and also to pardon his enemies. Because of this priests are the first builders of the civilization of love."

   He recalled the model of the Year for Priests, proclaimed Friday as the patron of all priests: St. John Vianney. He exhorted "May his prayer, his 'Act of Love,' that we have recited so many times during the Year for Priests, continue to nourish your colloquy with God."

   The Pope also proposed another priest-model: Father Jerzy Popieluszko, who was beatified June 6 in his native Poland. "His work in the service of goodness and truth was a sign of contradiction for the regime that governed Poland at that time. The love of the Heart of Christ led him to give his life, and his witness was the seed of a new springtime in the Church and society."

   The Holy Father went on to propose that a look at history shows "that so many pages of authentic spiritual and social renewal have been written by the contribution of Catholic priests, animated only by the passion for the Gospel and for man, for his true religious and civil liberty."

   "How many initiatives of integral human promotion have begun in the intuition of a priestly heart!" he exclaimed.

   The Pope concluded entrusting the priests of the world to Mary's Immaculate Heart, "so that by the power of the Gospel they may continue to build in every place the civilization of love." VATICAN CITY, JUNE 13, 2010

Other papal messages and activities:

Two young lay people among the nine beatifications approved by Benedict XVI: a 19-year-old Slovenian martyr and an Italian girl who died at age 18.

   Lojze Grozde of Slovenia found God through Catholic Action and came to live an intense life of prayer. In 1943 on a trip to visit relatives, he was detained and accused of spreading anti-Communist propaganda. He was tortured to death the night of his arrest.

   Chiara Badano, an Italian lay woman, died of cancer at age 18; she will be the first member of the Focolare Movement to be beatified.

   Manuel Lozano Garrido, known as Lolo, an Spanish layman who was a journalist and writer will be beatified this Saturday in Linares, Spain.

   Stephen Nehme, a Lebanese professed religious of the Order of Maronites will be beatified. Leopoldo Sánchez Márquez de Alpandeire (born Francisco), a Spanish professed layman of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchins.

   María de la Inmaculada Concepción, Spanish superior-general of Sisters of the Company of the Cross.

   Anna Maria Adorni, Italian founder of the Handmaidens of Blessed Mary Immaculate and of the Institute of the Good Shepherd of Parma,  Szilard Bogdanffy, Romanian bishop and martyr. And Maria Barbara of the Blessed Trinity, Austrian founder of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Benedict XVI assured his solidarity with the Polish flood victims.
The Holy Father also noted last Sunday's beatification of the chaplain of the Solidarity Movement, Father Jerzy Popieluszko, who was killed by the Communist secret police in 1984.

   "The new Polish Blessed Father Jerzy Popieluszko taught love and solidarity toward those in need of spiritual and material support," the Pontiff said. "I entrust to his protection all those who are suffering from landslides and those who take aid to them. May God bless you!" VATICAN CITY, JUNE 9, 2010

The Spanish Prime Minister visited Benedict XVI in the Vatican. 

   A Vatican communiqué reported that the Pope and José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero conversed about contentious issues such as Spanish legislation on religious liberty, abortion  and basic differences in the theme of education.

   They also discussed the Holy Father's two upcoming trips to Spain -- one for this November and another in August 2011 for World Youth Day. VATICAN CITY, JUNE 10, 2010

Benedict XVI named Auxiliary Bishop William Patrick Callahan of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, as bishop of La Crosse. Bishop Callahan, who will turn 60 next Thursday, succeeds Archbishop Jerome Edward Listecki, who was named archbishop of Milwaukee last November. LA CROSSE, Wisconsin, JUNE 11, 2010

Benedict XVI offered journalists a model. During his Spanish-language greeting after praying the Angelus, he referred to the Saturday beatification of Spanish journalist. Manuel Lozano Garrido, known as "Lolo" was born in Linares, Spain, on Aug. 9, 1920, and died in the same city on Nov. 3, 1971

   He "was a faithful layman who knew how to irradiate the love of God with his example and his writings, even among the sufferings that confined him to a wheelchair for nearly 28 years," the Holy Father said. "At the end of his life, he also lost his sight, but he continued to win hearts for Christ with his serene joy and his unwavering faith."
Despite the illness, he received professional recognitions, founded a magazine for sick people and authored nine books, which he dictated to his sister Lucía and his friends.
"Journalists can find in him an eloquent testimony of the good that can be done when one's pen reflects the greatness of the soul and is put at the service of truth and noble causes." the Holy Father said. VATICAN CITY, JUNE 13, 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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