The Holy Father´s Week: August 23, 2010

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

"A source of courage and hope for all of us" The Holy Father talked about the example of Mary on the solemnity of the Assumption of the Virgin, before he prayed the midday Angelus at Castel Gandolfo.

   "Today," he said, "we join our voices to the many generations who praise the Virgin Mary and call her blessed for her glorious Assumption into Heaven. Her example of faithful perseverance in doing the will of God and her heavenly reward are a source of courage and hope for all of us,"

   "From East to West the All Holy One is invoked as heavenly Mother, who holds the Son of God in her arms and under whose protection the whole of humanity finds refuge" he affirmed.

   "To her, guide of the Apostles, support of Martyrs, light of the Saints, we address our prayer," he said, "imploring that she accompany us in this earthly life, that she help us to look to Heaven and that she receive us one day together with her Son Jesus." CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, AUG. 16, 2010

"Nothing of what is precious and loved will be ruined, but will find its fulfillment in God." Benedict XVI said in his homily celebrating the feast of Mary's Assumption. He explained that the Mother of God shares in the resurrection of her Son, "She already lives what we proclaim in the Creed "I look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come."

   Mary is "blessed among women," "because she believes and lives in a unique way the "first" of the beatitudes, the beatitude of faith."

   The Holy Father urged not to limit ourselves to admire Mary in her glorious destiny, as a person who is far from us, but "to see what the Lord, in his love, also willed for us, for our final destiny: to live through faith in perfect communion of love with him and thus to truly live." "Christianity does not proclaim merely a certain salvation of the soul in some imprecise place beyond, in which everything in this world that was precious and loved by us is erased, but it promises eternal life, "the life of the world to come": Nothing of what is precious and loved will be ruined, but will find its fulfilment in God." He explained.  CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, AUG. 16, 2010

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An intimate personal union with Christ must be at the heart of apostolic activity, Benedict XVI said, pointing to the teaching of his predecessor St. Pius X at the general audience in Castel Gandolfo.

   The Pope affirmed that St. Pius X's pontificate "was characterized by a notable effort of reform, synthesized in the motto "Instaurare omnia in Christo," (To Renew All Things in Christ.)" through our intimate personal union with our Saviour.

   "St. Pius X teaches all of us that, at the foundation of our apostolic action, in the various fields in which we work, there must always be an intimate personal union with Christ, which must be cultivated and enhanced day after day. This is the kernel of all his teaching, of all his pastoral commitment."

   "Only if we are enamoured of the Lord will we be able to lead men to God and open them to his merciful love, and thus open the world to God's mercy." the Holy Father said.

   Benedict XVI remarked that St. Pious X "recommended the frequent reception of the sacraments, fostering daily, well-prepared reception of Holy Communion, and opportunely moving earlier children's First Communion to around 7 years of age, "when," he said, "the child begins to reason."

   St Pious X's  last months were embittered by the outbreak of the War. An appeal to the Catholics of the world launched on Aug. 2, 1914, to express "the acute grief" of that hour, "was the suffering cry of a father who sees his children confront one another. He died shortly after, on Aug. 20, and his reputation for sanctity soon began to spread among the Christian people." CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, AUG. 18, 2010

Let us entrust the daily prayer for peace to Mary's intercession, the Pope said as he reflected on Mary, our Mother and Queen at the Angelus in Castel Gandolfo. "Eight days after the solemnity of her Assumption into heaven, the liturgy invites us to venerate the Blessed Virgin Mary with the title of "Queen." The Pope explained,  as God "brings low the proud and powerful of this world and raises up the humble".

   "Naturally", he affirmed, "Mary's royalty is completely dependent on Christ's: He is the Lord, who, after the humiliation of death on the cross, the Father exalted above every creature in heaven, on earth and under the earth (cf. Philippians 2:9-11)"

   "Mary was the first to walk along the narrow "way," opened up by Christ, to enter into the Kingdom of God, a way that is accessible to the humble, to those who entrust themselves to the Word of God and who endeavor to put it into practice."

   The Holy Father urged to entrust "the daily prayer for peace to her intercession, especially in those places where the absurd logic of violence rages most, so that all men are persuaded that in this world we must help each other as brothers to build the civilization of love." CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, AUG. 22, 2010

Other papal messages and activities.

The Pope lauded Taizé founder's "Ecumenism of Holiness". The Taizé Community received a papal message on the 70th anniversary of foundation and fifth anniversary of the death of Brother Roger Schutz.

   "A tireless witness to the gospel of peace and reconciliation, Brother Roger was a pioneer in the difficult paths toward unity among the disciples of Christ," the message affirmed.

   Some 5,000 people participated in marking the anniversaries, and during the event, an Italian member of the community received the white habit characteristic of the Taizé brothers. TAIZÉ, France, AUG. 16, 2010

Benedict XVI sent condolences on the death of Francesco Cossiga, 82, an "important protagonist in Italian national life and a man of faith."

   Cossiga was president of Italy from 1985 to 1992. Vatican Radio reported that the Pope sent Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella to visit the ex-president in the hospital. CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, AUG. 17, 2010

Benedict XVI proposed former president of Malta, Guido de Marco, as an example for politicians. De Marco died suddenly last week. At the end of the state funeral a papal telegram was read which noted the "significant contribution [de Marco] made not only on the level of Maltese internal issues, but also to the life of the international community, in particular during the period he was president of the United Nations General Assembly." VALLETTA, Malta, AUG. 17, 2010

Benedict XVI has granted a plenary indulgence to those taking part in a pilgrimage and national mission in honor of the 4th centenary of Our Lady of Cobre, Cuba's patron. The image of the virgin -- a wooden statue about a foot high -- was discovered in 1612 by three fishermen: a slave and two native Indians. In preparation for the 400th anniversary of the image, which will be marked in 2012, a pilgrimage is already underway as the image of the Virgin travels throughout the country. The Church in Cuba is also currently participating in the continental mission, called for by Latin American and Caribbean bishops who gathered with Benedict XVI in 2007 in Aparecida, Brazil.  HAVANA, Cuba, AUG. 17, 2010

Benedict XVI made an appeal for solidarity with the people of Pakistan, affected recently with great floods. This nation saw its most devastating monsoon rainy season in decades, which caused flooding that brought as many as 2,000 deaths and affected another 20 million people. The area affected by the floods is about the size of England. "May these brothers of ours, so harshly tested, not lack our solidarity and the concrete aid of international solidarity." The Pope said.

   The Church's charity organization, Caritas Internationalis, launched an appeal for $5.5 million and is working to distribute food, provide clean water, shelter and hygiene facilities. CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, AUG. 18, 2010

Benedict XVI's will preside at the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman during his upcoming visit to the United Kingdom. The trip will also include a visit with the queen and a meeting with other religious leaders. Itinerary for the Pope's Sept. 16-19 apostolic journey was published. VATICAN CITY, AUG. 18, 2010

Full itinerary:

The Pope sent a message to funeral of Italian Physicist. Nicola Cabibbo, president of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences died Monday at the age of 75. Cabibbo also worked in the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, and taught at the Universities of La Sapienza and Tor Vergata of Rome. He dedicated many addresses to the relationship between creation and evolution. VATICAN CITY, AUG. 18, 2010

Man is made for great things. In a message he sent to the 31st Meeting of Friendship among Peoples, the Pope explained that "man is often tempted to stop at the little things, those that give a 'cheap' satisfaction and pleasure, those things that instantly gratify, things that are as easy to obtain as they are ultimately illusory."

   But, recalling the answer Jesus gave when tempted by the devil, he affirmed that only God "satiates man's deep hunger."

   "Finite things," he wrote, "can give glimmers of satisfaction or joy, but only the infinite can completely fill man's heart.""God," Benedict XVI said, "came into the world to reawaken the thirst for great things in us."

   The Pontiff's message to the Meeting concluded with the apostolic blessing and hopes that those participating in the meeting will know that "the great things that the human heart longs for are found in God."  RIMINI, Italy, AUG. 22, 2010

Marian shrine at Mentorella marks its 1,500th anniversary. Benedict XVI named Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, retired prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, as his special envoy to the Aug. 29 celebration. The Shrine of Holy Mary of the Graces, which is situated about 30 miles from Rome, is on what is believed to be the site of the conversion of St. Eustachius, centurion in the Roman army under the Emperor Trajan.

   He was eventually sent to his death, along with his family by the emperor Hadrian for having refused to participate in a rite of thanksgiving in the temple of Apollo. In the fourth century, the Emperor Constantine had the first church built at this location, dedicating it to the holy martyr.  ROME, AUG. 22, 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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