The Holy Father´s Week: October 18, 2010

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

We are all in danger of living as if God did not exist. Benedict XVI said. "He seems too far away from today's life," the Pontiff continued. "But God has a thousand ways, for each one, of making himself present in the soul, of showing that he exists and that he knows and loves me."

   During the general audience, he offered medieval mystic Blessed Angela of Foligno as a guide on how to grow closer to him.

   "Blessed Angela," he said, "began with a worldly existence, quite far from God. But then the encounter with the figure of St. Francis and, finally, the encounter with Christ Crucified awakened the soul by the presence of God, by the fact that only with God does life become true life, because it becomes, in the sorrow for sin, love and joy."

   Angela at one time looked down on the mendicants and observers of strict poverty in religious life. However, tragic events and suffering in her personal life gave her cause to become aware of her own sins, leading her to a decisive moment of conversion in the year 1285. Invoking the aid of Saint Francis, who appeared to her in a vision, she made her confession.

   Upon the death of her mother, husband and children, she sold all she had and joined the Third Order of Saint Francis. Angela's conversion "came to maturity only when God's forgiveness appeared to her soul as the free gift of love of the Father, source of love."

   Her fear of sin and punishment was overcome by her growth in love for God, drawing her along the "way of the Cross" to "the way of love."

   "My dear brothers and sisters, may we share her prayer to the Father: "My God, make me worthy to know the most high Mystery, which is your strong and ineffable love ... the greatest love possible!"

   And the "secret" of Blessed Angela, which carried her from "conversion to mystical union with Christ crucified, to the inexpressible," is prayer, the Pontiff affirmed.

   He quoted the blessed: "The more you pray, the more you will be illumined; the more you are illumined, the more profoundly and intensely you will see the Supreme Good, the supremely good Being; the more profoundly and intensely you see him, the more you will love him; the more you love him, the more he will delight you; and the more he delights you, the more you will understand him and become capable of understanding him. You will arrive successively to the fullness of light, because you will understand that you cannot understand." VATICAN CITY, OCT. 13, 2010

On ZENIT's Web page:
Full text:

"Prayer must be the expression of faith, otherwise it is not true prayer. If one does not believe in the goodness of God, he cannot pray in a truly adequate way. Faith is essential as the basis of the attitude of prayer". At the canonization Mass of six newly recognized saints Benedict XVI said that "God in fact is generosity in person, he is merciful, and so he is always disposed to listen to prayers. For this reason, we must not give up hope, but always insist in prayer".

   He said "sometimes we grow tired of prayer; we have the impression that prayer is not very useful for life, that it is not very effective. Thus, we are tempted to dedicate ourselves to activity, to employ every human method to accomplish our goals, and we do not approach God. But Jesus says that we must pray always, and he does this through a specific parable (cf. Luke 18:1-8)."

   "The six new saints proposed today for veneration by the universal Church made faith such a basis: Stanislaw Soltys, André Bessette, Cándida María de Jesús Cipitria y Barriola, Mary of the Cross MacKillop, Giulia Salzano and Battista Camilla Varano."

   The Holy Father spoke about each one of them. He quoted brother André: "Do not try to have your struggles taken away," he said, "rather ask for the grace to carry them well."

   "For him, everything spoke of God and his presence. May we, following him, seek God with simplicity to find him always present in the midst of our lives!" VATICAN CITY, OCT. 17, 2010

On ZENIT's Web page:Full text:

After a Mass in which six saints were canonized, the Holy Father prayed the Angelus in St.Peter's Square greeting the faithful in the six languages of the new saints. "May these new saints accompany you with their prayers and inspire you by the example of their holy lives." He said. "I also ask God that the new saints will be a model for the Christian people, particularly youth, so that there will be an ever greater number who welcome the call of the Lord and completely entrust their lives to proclaim the greatness of his love".

   The Pontiff ended entrusting to Mary [and all the other saints] the entire Church, so that, "enlightened by her example and sustained by their intercession, the faithful will go forward with an ever new spirit toward the homeland of heaven". VATICAN CITY, OCT. 17, 2010

Other papal messages and activities

Benedict XVI entrusted the synod into the maternal heart of the Mother of God and Mother of the Church. The Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops is under way in Rome through Oct. 24. Of the 185 synod fathers, the majority -- 140 -- belong to Eastern Catholic traditions; there are 45 bishops of Latin traditions, 14 of whom are from the Middle East.

   The Pope gave the first reflection this morning, as the synod fathers began their first working day with the hymn "Veni, Creator Spiritus."  VATICAN CITY, OCT. 11, 2010

On ZENIT's Web page: Full text:

"The Church has the duty to proclaim always and everywhere the Gospel of Jesus Christ." With this declaration, the Pope has officially created the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization.

   The Holy Father reflected: "As I stated in my first encyclical 'Deus Caritas Est': 'Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.

   "In a similar way, at the root of all evangelization there is not a human plan of expansion, but the desire to share the inestimable gift that God has willed to give us, making us sharers in his own life." VATICAN CITY, ROME, OCT. 12, 2010

On ZENIT's Web page:Full text:

The Holy Father prayed for the 33 Chilean miners who have been stuck deep in a subterranean mine for 69 days as efforts in the South American country are under way to rescue them. During the weekly general audience Benedict XVI said in Spanish: "To his divine goodness I continue to commend with hope the miners of the Atacama region, in Chile." VATICAN CITY, OCT. 13, 2010.

Benedict XVI entrusted youth, the sick and newly married couples to Our Lady of Fatima, who appeared for the last time on this date in 1917.  Our Lady of Fatima appeared to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal, on the 13th day of each month for six months in 1917, beginning in May and ending in October. VATICAN CITY, OCT. 13, 2010

A personal letter where he expressed his gratitude and affectionate greetings to the people who made his Sept. 16-19 visit to the United Kingdom a "success" was sent by the Pope to Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, and was published on the Papal visit Web site, VATICAN CITY, OCT. 13, 2010

The Holy Father sent a message to the 46th Italian Catholic Social Week. He mentioned the "most obvious consequence of the recent global financial crisis," saying it is the spread of unemployment and a spirit of uncertainty. Responding to the consequences of the economic crisis requires giving the family its proper value, he said. REGGIO CALABRIA, Italy, OCT. 14, 2010

On ZENIT's Web page: Full text:

There is not enough emphasis on agriculture, Benedict XVI said, and thus economic imbalance arises and personal dignity is ignored. He affirmed this in a message for the occasion of World Food Day, celebrated Saturday: "Too often, attention is diverted from the needs of populations, insufficient emphasis is placed on work in the fields, and the goods of the earth are not given adequate protection. As a result, economic imbalance is produced, and the inalienable rights and dignity of every human person are ignored."

   In this light, he said that the theme of this year's world day, "United Against Hunger," highlights that giving the agricultural sector its proper importance is everyone's responsibility. VATICAN CITY, OCT. 15, 2010

Benedict XVI named new Archbishop for Cebu, Phillipines. Archbishop José Serofia Palma of Palo, Philippines, will lead the Archdiocese of Cebu. The archdiocese counts with 3.6 million Catholics out of a total population of 4 million. There are 760 priests and 1,373 religious. CEBU, Philippines, OCT. 15, 2010

The flag signed by the 33 trapped Chilean miners, hung in Benedict XVI´s apartment, remembering those men in prayer every day until the moment that they were finally liberated. On Oct. 7, the Pope was presented with a flag that had been signed by the 33. The miners were all pulled to safety last Wednesday, after being trapped below ground since Aug. 5. VATICAN CITY, OCT. 17, 2010

On the 32nd anniversary of Pope John Paul II's election to the See of Peter, the President of Poland visited Benedict XVI. The pontiff also met with Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, archbishop of Krakow and long-time personal secretary of the Polish Pontiff. He was accompanied by the president and secretary-general of the Polish Episcopal Conference and by the archbishop of Warsaw. VATICAN CITY, OCT. 17, 2010

The Pope named two cardinals and two archbishop to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. They are: Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace; Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops; Archbishop Angelo Amato, president of the Congregation for Saints' Causes; and Archbishop Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

   The congregation is usually made up of 23 members -- cardinals, archbishops and bishops. Its present leader is Cardinal William Levada, former archbishop of San Francisco. VATICAN CITY, OCT. 17, 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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