The Holy Father´s Week: October 25, 2010

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

St. Eizabeth of Hungary, a life that is an invitation to serve the poor, was the theme of Benedict XVI's catechesis at the general audience.  He reflected on the life and example of this wife, mother, princess and saint of the 13th-century.

   She was the daughter of the King of Hungary. Her father had decided that Elizabeth should become a princess of Thuringia. Though she was married for political reasons, she and her husband developed a sincere love for each other, "one deepened by faith and the desire to do the Lord’s will." Benedict XVI said. "Hers was a profoundly happy marriage, Elizabeth helped her husband to raise his human qualities to the supernatural level and he, on the other hand, protected his wife in her generosity to the poor and in her religious practices".

   A clear testimony of how faith and love of God and one's neighbor reinforce marital union and make it even more profound, the Holy Father said.

   Ludwig died when he was only 27. Her brother-in-law usurped the government and accused Elizabeth of being a pious woman incompetent to govern. The young widow, with her three sons, began to look for a place of refuge. She helped the sick, spinned and sewed. At the beginning of 1228, she was able to receive an adequate income.

   She wanted to give up all her possessions, but her spiritual director dissuaded her for love of the poor. Shortly after she built a hospital, took in the sick and the invalid and served the most miserable and abandoned at her own table. She dedicated herself to the service of the poor, always performing the humblest and most difficult works.

   Elizabeth spent the last three years of her life caring for the sick in the hospital she'd founded, becoming "what we could call a consecrated woman in the midst of the world" and forming a religious community with her friends. She lived her vows until her death at an early age.

   "Testimonies of her holiness were such and so many that, only four years later, Pope Gregory IX proclaimed her a saint." She is a patroness of the Third Order of Saint Francis.

   "St. Elizabeth invites us to rediscover Christ, to love him, to have faith and thus find true justice and love, as well as the joy that one day we will be immersed in divine love, in the joy of eternity with God." The Holy Father said. VATICAN CITY, OCT. 20, 2010

"The Church exists to evangelize, that is to say, to preach and to teach, to be the channel of the gift of grace, to reconcile sinners with God, to perpetuate the sacrifice of Christ in the Holy Mass, which is the memorial of his death and of his glorious resurrection" Benedict XVI affirmed at the Angelus, quoting Pope Paul VI.

   The Pope came from presiding at the closing Mass of the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops. "In every time and in every place -- even today in the Middle East -- the Church is present and works to gather together all men and offer them to Christ, the fullness of life."

   This Sunday is also World Mission Sunday, and the Holy Father noted that "The missionary task is not to bring about revolution in the world but to transfigure it, drawing power from Jesus Christ who "convokes us at the table of his Word and Eucharist, to taste the gift of his Presence, to form ourselves in his school and live more and more consciously united to him, Master and Lord"

   "To the Virgin Mary, who from Jesus crucified received the new mission of being the Mother of all those who want to believe in him and follow him, we entrust the Christian communities in the Middle East and all the missionaries of the Gospel." He ended. VATICAN CITY, OCT. 24, 2010

Other papal messages and activities.

The Pope received in audience Colombia's new ambassador to the Holy See, César M. Velásquez O.

   Benedict XVI praised the "deep Catholic roots" of Colombia, which are an "inexhaustible source of energy" and an "inspiration to be committed to the noblest causes." VATICAN CITY, OCT. 18, 2010

The Holy Father received in audience El Salvador's new ambassador to the Holy See, Manuel R. López B. The Pope reflected on how the Church endeavors to promote integral human development. "Evangelizing and giving witness of the love of God and of all men without any exceptions, she becomes an effective element for the eradication of poverty and a vigorous incentive in the struggle against violence, impunity and drug trafficking, which is causing so much ruin, especially among young people," the Holy Father noted. VATICAN CITY, OCT. 18, 2010

The Pope assisted to a concert in his honor. He described Verdi's "Requiem" as a "moment of true beauty able to lift the spirit." And spoke of the composition as a "great cry to the eternal Father in an attempt to overcome the cry of despair in face of death." Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) wrote the Requiem Mass in 1873.

   Maestro Enoch zu Guttenberg and the Choir Community Neubeuern and the Orchestra of the KlangVerwaltung performed the piece. VATICAN CITY, OCT. 18, 2010

"The world needs priests, pastors, today, tomorrow and always, until the end of time." Benedict XVI said in a letter to seminarians. In the message, which was written for the end of the Year for Priests, the Pope recalled a conversation he had with a military commander in 1944, after being drafted for the service: "The company commander asked each of us what we planned to do in the future. I answered that I wanted to become a Catholic priest.

   "The lieutenant replied: 'Then you ought to look for something else. In the new Germany priests are no longer needed.'

   "I knew that this 'new Germany' was already coming to an end, and that, after the enormous devastation which that madness had brought upon the country, priests would be needed more than ever."

   The Holy Father noted that "many people nowadays also think that the Catholic priesthood is not a 'job' for the future, but one that belongs more to the past." Yet, he added, "people will always have need of God, even in an age marked by technical mastery of the world and globalization."

   "Where people no longer perceive God, life grows empty; nothing is ever enough," Benedict XVI observed. "People then seek escape in euphoria and violence; these are the very things that increasingly threaten young people."

   He affirmed, "God is alive, and he needs people to serve him and bring him to others." VATICAN CITY, OCT. 18, 2010

Benedict XVI announced that 24 prelates will be created cardinals in a consistory on Nov. 20, the eve of the Solemnity of Christ the King. Twenty of them qualify as electors in the case of a conclave for a Papal election.

   The new cardinals who qualify as electors are: Archbishop Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes, Patriarch Antonios Naguib of Alexandria of the Copts, Egypt, Archbishop Robert Sarah, president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, Archbishop Francesco Monterisi, Archbishop Fortunato Baldelli, major penitentiary of the Apostolic Penitentiary, Archbishop Raymond Leo Burke, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature, Archbishop Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Archbishop Paolo Sardi, vice chamberlain of Apostolic Chamber,Archbishop Mauro Piacenza, Archbishop Velasio De Paolis, Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, Archbishop Medardo Joseph Mazombwe, retired archbishop of Lusaka, Zambia, Archbishop Raúl Eduardo Vela Chiriboga, retired archbishop of Quito, Ecuador, Archbishop Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Archbishop Paolo Romeo, Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, Archbishop Raymundo Damasceno Assis of Aparecida, Brazil, Archbishop Kazimierz Nycz of Warsaw, Poland, Archbishop Albert Malcolm Ranjith Patabendige Don of Colombo, Sri Lanka,Archbishop Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising, Germany, Archbishop José Manuel Estepa Llaurens, retired archbishop of Spain's military,Bishop Elio Sgreccia, former president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Monsignor Walter Brandmuller,  Monsignor Domenico Bartolucci. VATICAN CITY, OCT. 20, 2010

On the month for Catholic missions, Benedict is encouraging youth, the ill and newlyweds to support the Church's missionary endeavors: "With the fresh energy of youth, with the power of prayer and of sacrifice, and with the potential of married life, may you be missionaries of the Gospel, offering your concrete support to those struggling to bring [the Gospel] to those who still do not know it." VATICAN CITY, OCT. 20, 2010

Economic growth can all too easily bypass ethical considerations, Benedict XVI warned in an address to Korea's new ambassador to the Holy See, Han Hong-soon. While congratulating Koreans for their "remarkable degree of industry and generosity" that has led to economic growth for the nation, Benedict XVI encouraged the Korean government in a commitment "to ensure that social justice and care for the common good grow side by side with material prosperity," and he assured the cooperation of the Church in promoting "these worthy goals." VATICAN CITY, OCT. 21, 2010

Don´t let the extent of poverty discourage efforts. The Pope made this invitation in a message sent by his secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, to an official of the ATD Fourth World delegation on the occasion of the Oct. 17 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, declared by the United Nations in 1992. VATICAN CITY, OCT. 21, 2010

Education is about more than simply imparting knowledge; it's about imparting a love for truth, Benedict XVI said upon receiving in audience the new ambassador of Ecuador to the Holy See, Luis D. Latorre Tapia, who was presenting his letters of credence. In his message to the envoy, the Holy Father defended the right to religious teaching in public schools in Ecuador, and called for respect for the identity and autonomy of Catholic educational institutions. VATICAN CITY, OCT. 22, 2010

The deep wounds left by decades of Communism in Romania must be healed by recovering values and rebuilding the social fabric, Benedict XVI said on receiving in audience the new ambassador of Romania to the Holy See, Bogdan Tataru-Cazaban.

   "Many are the challenges to be addressed if you wish your society not to be based solely on the search for well-being and the pursuit of profit, understandable consequences after a period of more than 40 years of privations."

   On the contrary, the Pope affirmed, "integrity, honesty and rectitude must prevail. These virtues must inspire and lead all members of society to good management." VATICAN CITY, OCT. 22, 2010

"We must never resign ourselves to the absence of peace. Peace is possible. Peace is urgent. Peace is the indispensable condition for a life of dignity for human beings and society." Benedict XVI said in his homily at the solemn closing of the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops.

   "The First Reading and the responsorial Psalm stress the theme of prayer", he said "emphasizing that it is much more powerful to God's heart when those who pray are in a condition of need and are afflicted."

   "The cry of the poor and of the oppressed finds an immediate echo in God, who desires to intervene to open up a way out, to restore a future of freedom, a horizon of hope."

   "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem" we are told in the Psalm (122:6). We pray for peace in the Holy Land. We pray for peace in the Middle East, undertaking to try to ensure that this gift of God to men of goodwill should spread through the whole world.

   The Holy Father also spoke about humility, "As today's Gospel reminded us (cf Lk 18:9-14), we need humility, in order to recognize our limitations, our errors and omissions, in order to be able to truly be "united, heart and soul" he noted. The Pontiff expressed a "deep gratitude toward God who has afforded us this truly extraordinary experience, not just for us, but for the good of the Church, for the People of God who live in the lands between the Mediterranean and Mesopotamia."

On ZENIT's Web page:Full text:

The new evangelization is the theme for the next general assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Benedict XVI announced. The next Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will be held in 2012, and will be dedicated to the theme "The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith," the Pontiff said. VATICAN CITY, OCT. 24, 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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