The Holy Father´s Week: November 15, 2010

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

The Pope spoke of pilgrimages at the general audience as he reflected on his visit to Santiago de Compostela where he went as a pilgrim, thus participating in the celebrations of this year's jubilee, and  Barcelona where he dedicated the Church of the Holy Family, designed by Antoni Gaudí.

   "In moments of loss, of searching, of difficulty, as well as in the aspiration to reinforce the faith and to live in a more coherent way, the pilgrims to Compostela undertake a profound itinerary of conversion to Christ, who has assumed to himself weakness, the sin of humanity, the miseries of the world, bearing them to where evil no longer has any power, where the light of goodness illumines everything."

   The Holy Father added that he prayed for youth, "who accompanied me throughout the visit to Santiago and Barcelona with their enthusiasm and joy -- so that they would discover the beauty, the value and commitment of marriage, in which a man and a woman form a family, which with generosity receives life and supports it from its conception until its natural end."

   "All that is done to support marriage and the family, to help the neediest persons, all that enhances the grandeur of man and his inviolable dignity, contributes to the perfecting of society. No effort is vain in this sense," he stated. VATICAN CITY, NOV. 10, 2010

Modern agriculture was the subject of the Holy Father's reflection at the Angelus. He said agriculture is an indispensable resource for the future and that it needs a strategic re-launching. He   lamented that even during the current global economic crisis, in certain industrialized countries, "lifestyles marked by unsustainable consumption -- which have damaging effects for the environment and the poor -- still continue."

   "It is necessary," he affirmed, "to point in a truly unified way to a new balance between agriculture, industry and services, so that development be sustainable, and no one go without bread and work, and so that air and water and the other primary resources be preserved as universal goods.” He urged "personal responsibility" and the promotion of "rural" values, such as "hospitality, solidarity [and] the sharing of the toil of labor."

   "More than a few young people have already chosen this path," The Holy Father continued. "Also, many professionals are returning to dedicate themselves to the agricultural enterprise, feeling that they are responding not only to a personal and family need, but also to a 'sign of the times,' to a concrete sensibility for the 'common good.'"

   "Let us pray to the Virgin Mary that these reflections can serve as a stimulus to the international community, while we give our thanks to God for the fruits of the earth and the work of man" He ended. .VATICAN CITY, NOV. 14, 2010

Prayer for Life. Benedict XVI is calling on all Catholics to join in a Vigil for All Nascent Human Life, to be celebrated in local parishes and dioceses Nov. 27. "The time of preparation for Holy Christmas is a propitious moment to invoke divine protection for every human being called into existence, and also for a thanksgiving to God for the gift of life received from our parent," he affirmed. VATICAN CITY, NOV. 14, 2010

On the Net:

Vigil information:

Other papal messages and activities.

"The holiness of the Eucharist exacts that this mystery be celebrated and adored conscious of its greatness, importance and efficacy for Christian life, but it also calls for purity, coherence and holiness of life from each one of us, to be living witnesses of the unique sacrifice of love of Christ." The Holy Father affirmed in a message sent  on the occasion of the Plenary Assembly of the Italian Episcopal Conference being held through Thursday in Assisi.

   One focus of the assembly is the review of the Italian translation of the newest edition of the Roman Missal. ASSISI, Italy, NOV. 9, 2010

Benedict XVI sent a message on the occasion of the two-day G-20 summit, which begins Thursday in Seoul, South Korea. He encourages the Group of 20 world leaders to find lasting, sustainable and just solutions to the global economic crisis.

   The Pope asserted, "It is decisive for the very future of humanity to show the world and history that today, thanks also to this crisis, man has matured to the point of being able to recognize that civilizations and cultures, like economic, social and political systems, can and must converge in a shared vision of human dignity, which respects the laws and requirements placed in it by God the Creator." VATICAN CITY, NOV. 10, 2010

Nearly 1,300 Czech Catholics are making a three-day pilgrimage to the Vatican where the Pope greeted them. The pilgrims, as well as Czech seminarians, attended Mass on Tuesday at the Basilica of St. Mary Major. Today, they met with the Holy Father during his general audience. The aim of the pilgrimage is to give thanks for the Pontiff's visit last year. VATICAN CITY, NOV. 10, 2010

"Verbum Domini," dated Sept. 30, feast of St. Jerome, was presented today at the Vatican. Benedict XVI ranges from theological to practical in the document, which is available at the Vatican Web site in a 200-page edition. In it the Holy Father offers seven practical proposals for promoting fuller participation in the liturgy.

   He suggests that people must be "educated in the value of silence" as only in silence can the word of God find a home in us, as it did in Mary, woman of the word and, inseparably, woman of silence."

   "Ours is not an age which fosters recollection; at times one has the impression that people are afraid of detaching themselves, even for a moment, from the mass media."
He underlined the importance of the word of God in living our personal vocations: our lifelong call to holiness, and the specific call of each person.  VATICAN CITY, NOV. 11, 2010

On the Net:

Verbum Domini:

"Peace Is ... Also the Result of the Efforts of People of Good Will" Benedict XVI affirmed in a letter sent to the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on the occasion of the visit to Tehran of Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. The Pontiff stated, "It is my profound conviction that respect for the transcendent dimension of the human person is an indispensable condition for the construction of a just social order and a stable peace."

   "Interreligious and intercultural dialogue is a fundamental path to peace," he affirmed. VATICAN CITY, NOV. 11, 2010

The 2012 Eucharistic Congress in Dublin will mark a number of 50th anniversaries.  The Holy Father emphasized its Jubilee character; it falls on the 50th anniversary of the Eucharistic Congress of Munich, which marked a turning point in the understanding of the ecclesial events elaborating the idea of 'statio orbis.'" it will be the 50th congress, and it will be held likewise 50 years from the opening of Vatican II, to which the theme makes explicit reference, recalling Chapter 7 of the dogmatic constitution 'Lumen Gentium.'" VATICAN CITY, NOV. 11, 2010

The Apostolic Vatican Library was reopened after three years of closure for important works. Benedict XVI sent a letter to the Vatican archivist and librarian, Cardinal Raffaele Farina on this occasion.

   "Nothing of all that is truly human is foreign to the Church, which because of this has always sought, gathered, conserved, with a continuity that few equal, the best results of men of rising above the purely material toward the search, aware or unaware, of the Truth."

   "Far from being simply the fruit of the accumulation of a refined bibliophile and of a hobby of collecting many possibilities, the Vatican Library is a precious means -- which the Bishop of Rome cannot and does not intend to give up -- that gives, in the consideration of problems, that look capable of gathering, in a perspective of long duration, the remote roots of situations and their evolution in time." VATICAN CITY, NOV. 12, 2010

The Holy Father urges the international community to continue assisting the people of Haiti, who are now suffering from a cholera epidemic. "I encourage everyone who is responding to this new emergency and, while I assure a special remembrance in my prayer, I call on the international community to generously assist these people," he said. VATICAN CITY, NOV. 14, 2010

The Church must use its creative intelligence, the Pope said upon receiving in audience participants in the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council of Culture, which took place last week in Rome. The theme considered at the plenary was "Culture of Communication and New Languages."

   "In a world that makes communication the winning strategy, the Church, recipient of the mission to communicate to all the nations the Gospel of salvation, does not remain indifferent and foreign; she tries, on the contrary, to avail herself -- with renewed creative effort, but also with critical sense and attentive discernment -- of the new languages and new modalities of communication."

   "A profound cultural transformation is under way," the Pontiff affirmed, "with new languages and new forms of communication" being developed. "The Church wants to dialogue with everyone in the pursuit of truth, but in order for that dialogue and communication to be effective and fruitful, it is necessary to be on the same frequency, in friendly and sincere environments," he said. VATICAN CITY, NOV. 14, 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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