The Holy Father´s Week: June 28, 2010

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

The Pope urged the faithful to fall in love with the Eucharist. The Holy Father completed, with a third part, his catechesis on St. Thomas Aquinas during the general audience in St. Peter's Square.  He highlighted St. Thomas' devotion to the Eucharist "to the point that, according to the ancient biographers, he used to lean his head on the tabernacle, almost as if to hear the beating of the divine and human Heart of Jesus."

   He noted that in the Summa of theology, the saint's description of Christ's saving work stresses the importance of the seven sacraments, and especially the Eucharist.

   "Dear brothers and sisters, in the school of the saints, let us be enamoured of this sacrament! Let us participate in the Holy Mass with recollection to obtain its spiritual fruits, let us nourish ourselves on the Body and Blood of the Lord, to be incessantly nourished by divine grace!

   "Let us willingly and frequently converse, face to face, in the company of the Most Blessed Sacrament!"

   "Let us understand well why St. Thomas and other saints celebrated the Holy Mass shedding tears of compassion for the Lord, who offers himself in sacrifice for us, tears of joy and of gratitude." the Pope urged.

   Benedict XVI also reflected on Thomas' devotion to the Virgin Mary and ended with a prayer attributed to St. Thomas: "O blessed and sweet Virgin Mary, Mother of God ... I entrust my whole life to your merciful heart. ... Obtain for me, oh my most sweet Lady, true charity, with which I will be able to love with all my heart your Most Holy Son and you, after him, above all things, and my neighbour in God and for God." VATICAN CITY, JUNE 23, 2010

On ZENIT's Web page: Full text:

God can fill a man's heart in a superabundant way. He is not an abstract entity, but a great and powerful Reality, Benedict XVI affirmed at the midday Angelus in St. Peter's Square. "He is a Person who is alive and near, who loves us and asks us to love him".

   "One of the most beautiful experiences that one has in the Church is "seeing the Lord’s action in people’s lives, touching it with one’s hand."" He said.

   On the last Sunday of the month dedicated to the Sacred Heart, Benedict XVI invited the faithful to be more willing and radical in responding to a call from Christ.

   "I would like to invite everyone to contemplate the divine-human heart of the Lord Jesus, to draw from the source itself of God’s Love".

   "Whoever fixes his gaze upon that pierced Heart that is always open out of love for us, senses the truth of this invocation: "Lord, you are my only good" (Responsorial Psalm), and is ready to leave everything to follow the Lord."

   The Holy Father explained St Paul’s exclamation: Christ has freed us for freedom!  "Whoever renounces everything, even himself, to follow Jesus, enters into a new dimension of freedom", he remarked.  St. Paul defines it as "walking according to the Spirit" (cf. Galatians 5:16) and explains that this new form of freedom acquired for us by Christ consists in being "in the service of each other" (Galatians 5:1, 13).

   "Freedom and love coincide! Obeying one’s own egoism, on the contrary, leads to rivalry and conflict". The Holy Father affirmed. VATICAN CITY, JUNE 27, 2010

On ZENIT's Web page: Full text:

Other papal messages and activities.

The Holy Father outlines the duties of a bishop. "In as much as teachers and doctors of the faith, you have the mission to teach with audacity the truth that must be believed and lived, presenting it in an authentic way." he said in audience with the bishops of Eastern Region II of the Brazilian episcopal conference, at the conclusion of their five-yearly "ad limina" visit.: "To believe consists above all in abandoning oneself to this God who knows and loves us personally, accepting the truth that he revealed in Jesus Christ with the attitude that leads us to trust in grace." VATICAN CITY, JUNE 21, 2010

Benedict XVI will bestow the pallium on 38 metropolitan archbishops, including 8 from Africa, 14 from Europe and 4 from Asia. The pallium symbolizes authority and expresses the special bond between the bishops and the Roman Pontiff; it is a white band embroidered with six black crosses and worn over the shoulders worn by the Pope and by metropolitan archbishops.

   The Mass in which the prelates will receive the honor will take place on June 29, the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul. VATICAN CITY, JUNE 22, 2010

New appointments. Bishop Joseph McFadden, auxiliary in the archdiocese of Philadelphia, will now take charge of the Harrisburg Diocese. Filling the vacancy left by him, Monsignor Michael Fitzgerald of the Philadelphia clergy, has been named an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

   Benedict XVI also appointed new members to the administrative council of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

   Finally, the Holy Father appointed Monsignor Giovanni Pietro Dal Toso, under secretary of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, as secretary of the same dicastery. JUNE 22, 2010

Benedict XVI encouraged sick people to offer their sufferings for the conversion of those imprisoned by evil. The Pontiff's customary greeting to youth, the sick and newlyweds at the end of today's general audience made reference to St. Joseph Cafasso (1811-1860). He announced he will dedicate next week's general audience address to "this engaging figure of an exemplary priest." VATICAN CITY, JUNE 23, 2010

Benedict XVI sent a particular greeting to the members of Home of the Mother after the general audience. The Holy See has just recognized it as a public international association of faithful. The association's founder, Spanish diocesan priest Father Rafael Alonso Reymundo, was present at the audience. As explained on its Web page, the Home of the Mother was "born in the Church, and is at her service, having its ideal the following of Jesus Christ and wishing to carry out the three missions proper to it: defense of the Eucharist, defense of Our Mother's honor, especially in the privilege of her Virginity and the conquest of young people for Jesus Christ." VATICAN CITY, JUNE 23, 2010

On the Net:  For more information:

After almost 12 years of captivity, the Colombian army rescued Luis H. Mendieta O, months after his daughter visited Benedict XVI to request prayers. In an interview with Radio Caracol shortly after his release, Mendieta gave thanks for "the faith of my wife, of Jenny (his daughter) and for all the prayers of Colombia and of the world." His 22-year-old young daughter commented that in her meeting with the Pontiff, she took his hands and asked him to pray for the miracle of her father's release, to which the Pope responded: "The miracle will happen. Have faith. It will be so." BOGOTA, Colombia, JUNE 23, 2010

The Blessed Mother should always be placed at the height of our thoughts and affection, as she watches over our families and points the way to Heaven. Benedict XVI affirmed during his visit to the Don Orione Center in Rome, where he blessed a 29-foot-tall restored statue of the Virgin Mary. The statue which looks out over the city of Rome and is known as "Salus Populi Romani" (Protector of the Roman People), fell from its 62-foot pedestal in a storm last Oct. 12, but has been recently restored. ROME, JUNE 24, 2010

The Pope visited a community of cloistered nuns in the Dominican convent of Santa Maria del Rosario in Rome. Through prayer, "which finds its culmination in the daily participation in the Eucharistic Sacrifice, your consecration to the Lord in silence and seclusion becomes fecund and full of fruits."  He told the nuns in his homily and he affirmed that these fruits are also attained "for the apostolate of intercession that you carry out for the whole Church, so that it can appear pure and holy in the presence of the Lord." ROME, JUNE 24, 2010

The Holy Father paid homage to those who suffer for the Gospel and commended them to God. He expressed his hopes for Christians of the Middle East: to persevere in their faith and to stay in their homelands, despite the many sacrifices involved. The Pope made this appeal when he addressed participants of the Assembly of Societies for Aid to Eastern Churches (ROACO). "We all desire for the Holy Land, Iraq and the Middle East the gift of a stable peace and solid coexistence." He affirmed. "These are born from respect of human rights, of families, communities and peoples, and by the overcoming of religious, cultural or social discrimination." VATICAN CITY, JUNE 25, 2010

Benedict XVI expressed his condolences for the 13 youth who were killed in a train accident in Barcelona, Spain. He sent a message where he said he was "truly saddened" by the news, and that he would pray for the eternal rest of those who had died. The Holy Father also expressed hope that the 14 youth who were injured would recover, and offered his condolences to the families of the dead. He extended "from the heart, the comforting apostolic blessing, as a sign of hope in the Risen Lord." VATICAN CITY, JUNE 25, 2010

Benedict XVI welcomed the beatification of a Lebanese Priest. Stephan Nehmé, a religious of the Lebanese Maronite Order; he was known for his constant awareness of God's presence in his life. Father Nehmé died Aug. 30, 1938, at the age of 49, of natural causes and was buried in the monastery at Kfifan, where his body remains intact.

   Archbishop Angelo Amato, the prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes, presided today at the beatification liturgy in Kfifan. VATICAN CITY, JUNE 27, 2010

Benedict XVI was "surprised" upon hearing of the "deplorable manner" in which Belgian police carried out a series of raids on several church offices. The Pope expressed his concern in a letter of support sent today to the Archbishop of Malines-Brussels, and president of Belgium's episcopal conference.

   The police arrived Thursday morning to the headquarters of the Archdiocese of Malines-Brussels, where the bishops of Belgium were meeting for their monthly meeting. The authorities detained the bishops at the headquarters for nine hours as they searched the offices and the Cathedral of Malines in search of secret documents regarding child sexual abuse.

   Benedict XVI underlined the need for both Church and civil authorities to deal with the sexual abuse crisis, but added that it should be done "with respect to their reciprocal specificity and autonomy." VATICAN CITY, JUNE 27, 2010

The Curé d'Ars is also a  model of evangelical life for the laity. "A peculiar aspect of the life of this humble priest was, in fact, his detachment from material goods. He did not own anything; he gave everything away to the most needy."  The Pope said upon receiving in audience a delegation representing the Circolo San Pietro (Circle of St. Peter), an Italian charity founded in 1869. 

   "He learned the love of the poor as a boy, seeing how they were welcomed and helped by his parents at home. This love led him, in the course of his priestly life, to give away everything he had. He also founded a home that he called Providence for poor children and girls: He dedicated every effort to them so that they would receive a healthy Christian education." The Holy Father encouraged the members of the Circolo San Pietro, to continue their charity work. VATICAN CITY, JUNE 27, 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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