The Holy Father´s Week: November 21, 2010

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

Let us try to frequently go to visit the Lord present in the Tabernacle! The Pope urged.

   During the general audience he presented St. Juliana of Liege, who, with her great fervour contributed to the institution of one of the most important liturgical solemnities of the year, that of Corpus Christi.

   Juliana, who was born near Liege, in Belgium, at the end of the twelfth century, was orphaned young. She became an Augustinian nun. Intelligent and cultured, she was drawn to contemplative prayer and devotion to the sacrament of the Eucharist. As the result of a recurring vision, Juliana worked to promote a liturgical feast in honour of the Eucharist.

   The feast of Corpus Christi was first celebrated in the diocese of Liege, and began to spread from there.

   Pope Urban IV instituted the solemnity of Corpus Christi for the universal Church and charged Saint Thomas Aquinas with composing the texts of the liturgical office. The Pope himself celebrated the solemnity in Orvieto, where the relic of a celebrated Eucharistic miracle, which had occurred the previous year, was kept.

   Fidelity to the encounter with the Eucharistic Christ in Sunday's Holy Mass is essential for the journey of faith, Benedict XVI said, but let us try as well to frequently go to visit the Lord present in the Tabernacle! Gazing in adoration at the consecrated Host, we discover the gift of the love of God, we discover the passion and the cross of Jesus, and also his Resurrection.

   "Precisely through our gazing in adoration, the Lord draws us to himself, into his mystery, to transform us as he transforms the bread and wine. The saints always found strength, consolation and joy in the Eucharistic encounter."

   As we recall Saint Juliana let us renew our faith in Christ's true presence in the Eucharist and pray that the "springtime of the Eucharist" which we are witnessing in the Church today, he said,  may bear fruit in an ever greater devotion to the Sacrament of Christ's Body and Blood. VATICAN CITY, NOV. 17, 2010

"Jesus, from the throne of the cross, receives every man with infinite mercy." Benedict XVI stated at the Angelus together. Precisely "on the cross Jesus is exalted to the very 'height' of God, who is love. It is there that he can be 'known.' [...] Jesus gives us 'life' because he gives us God. He can give him to us because he himself is one with God"

   The Pope highlighted the royalty of Christ the King on the cross, as he received the good thief into his kingdom. "In fact", he said "while the Lord finds himself between two criminals, one of them, aware of his own sins, opens himself to truth, arrives at faith and prays to "the king of the Jews": "Jesus remember me when you come into your kingdom" (Luke 23:42).

   "From him who "is before all things and in whom all things exist" (Colossians 1:17) the so-called "good thief" immediately receives forgiveness and the joy of entering into the Kingdom of Heaven. "In truth I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:43).

   "With these words", the Holy Father affirmed, "Jesus, from the throne of the cross receives every man with infinite mercy." He referenced St. Ambrose, who said that this "is a beautiful example of conversion to which one should aspire: forgiveness is quickly offered the thief and the grace is more abundant than the request."

   The Pontiff had just concelebrated in St. Peter's Basilica the liturgy of the Solemnity of Christ the King along with the 24 new cardinals created Saturday in the consistory. "To the Virgin Mary, in today's observance of her Presentation in the Temple," he said "we entrust the new members of the College of Cardinals and our earthly pilgrimage toward eternity". VATICAN CITY, NOV. 21, 2010

Other papal messages and activities.

The Pope addressed the bishops of the central west region of Brazil, in Rome for their five-yearly "ad limina" visit. This is the last group of Brazilian prelates to make the visit; because of the size of the Catholic community in Brazil, the bishops are divided in regions. The various groups have been making their "ad limina" visits over the last 14 months. VATICAN CITY, NOV. 15, 2010

Sport can become a school of "human and Christian values," Benedict XVI said today upon receiving in audience a delegation of Italian ski instructors. VATICAN CITY, NOV. 15, 2010

Benedict XVI received in a private audience the initiators of the Neocatechumenal Way: Kiko Argüello, Carmen Hernández, and Father Mario Pezzi. They explained to the Holy Father the work that the group's followers have been carrying out for some years through the "missio ad gentes" in cities where at times the presence of the Church is scarce  VATICAN CITY, NOV. 16, 2010

The Holy Father asks for the release of a Pakistani woman condemned to death.  Asia Bibi, 45, was charged a year ago for blaspheming Mohammed in a conflict with fellow farm workers. She was sentenced to death last week. At the end of the general audience the Pope mentioned the plight of Pakistani Christians, VATICAN CITY, NOV. 17, 2010

Unity is not 'made by us,' God 'makes' it: It comes from above, from the unity of the Father with the Son in the dialogue of love which is the Holy Spirit; it is a taking part in the divine unity.

   The Pope said this today upon receiving in audience the participants in the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, which ends Friday in Rome. The Pontiff said that this knowledge shouldn't take away from the Church's efforts to work toward unity, but rather "it should make us ever more attentive to receive the signs of the times of the Lord, knowing how to recognize with gratitude that which already unites us and working to consolidate it and make it grow." VATICAN CITY, NOV. 18, 2010

Benedict XVI said justice in health care must be a priority of governments and international institutions. He sent a message to the president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry, on accession of a two-day international conference that began today in Rome which will focus on the topic "For Equitable and Human Health Care in the Light of the Encyclical 'Caritas in Veritate.'"

He also warned that  the world of health cannot be subtracted from the moral rules that should govern it so that it will not become inhuman VATICAN CITY, NOV. 18, 2010

Benedict XVI is offering prayers for religious freedom, especially in those places where Christians are persecuted.

   The Pope gave an assurance of his prayers today after praying the midday Angelus together with those gathered in St. Peter's Square. VATICAN CITY, NOV. 21, 2010

New Nuncio for the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Benedict XVI named Archbishop Adolfo Tito Yllana, 62, as apostolic nuncio. The prelate succeeds Archbishop Giovanni d'Aniello, who was appointed apostolic nuncio to Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos on Sept. 22. VATICAN CITY, NOV. 21, 2010

Benedict XVI is not justifying condom use, though the Pope said it could in some cases be a first step toward moral behaviour. This statement was released by the director of the Vatican press office, regarding the words of Benedict XVI regarding condoms as recorded in a book, "Light of the World," scheduled for release on Tuesday. VATICAN CITY, NOV. 21, 2010

Father Lombardi's statement:
On the Net: "Light of the World:"
Ignatius Insight:

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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