The Holy Father´s Week: March 7, 2011

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

Benedict XVI reflected on Saint Francis of Sales during the general audience: This saint reminds us that man bears inscribed in his deepest self nostalgia for God and only in him finds his true joy and most complete fulfillment. He said as he spoke about this saint, outstanding Bishop and doctor of the Church.

   Saint Francis (1527-1622), became a priest after a powerful experience of God's liberating love in his youth. In 1602 he became bishop of Geneva, at a time when the city was the stronghold of Calvinism.  

   "He was an apostle, preacher, writer, man of action and prayer; committed to carrying out the ideals of the Council of Trent" the Pope said. His fine education, his personal gifts of charity, serenity and openness to dialogue, together with his brilliance as a spiritual guide, made Francis a leading figure of his age.

   "His spiritual writings include the celebrated 'Introduction to the Devout Life,' which insists that all Christians are called to perfection in their proper state of life, foreshadowing the insistence of the Second Vatican Council on the universal call to holiness," the Pontiff observed. "His 'Treatise on the Love of God' develops this teaching, stressing that we find ourselves and our true freedom in the love of God."

   In an age such as ours, the Pope affirmed, "that seeks liberty, even with violence and disturbance, the timelines of this great teacher of spirituality and peace should not be missed, a teacher who gave to his disciples the "spirit of liberty," the true one, as the culmination of his fascinating and complete teaching on the reality of love."

   With "his accessible style, with words that at times have the touch of poetry, he reminds that man bears inscribed in his deepest self nostalgia for God and that only in him is found his true joy and most complete fulfilment". VATICAN CITY, MARCH 2, 2011

Find space every day for the Word of God, to nourish yourselves from it, to meditate on it continually, the Holy Father exhorted before praying the midday Angelus. "Jesus is the living Word of God. When he taught, the people recognized in his words divine authority itself, they felt the nearness of the Lord, his merciful love, and gave praise to God."

   He "makes us feel the joy of being the children of the Father in heaven, indicating to us the solid basis on which to build our life."

   Jesus Christ is the foundation of rock upon which to build one’s life, yet too many prefer to build their lives on the "sand of ideologies, power, success and money," Benedict XVI said.

   "Christ is the rock of our life! He is the eternal and definitive Word who keeps us from fearing any adversity, difficulty, hardship" The Holy Father said. "May the Word of God permeate the whole of our life, thought and action."

   "I exhort you to find space every day for the Word of God," the Pope said, "to nourish yourselves from it, to meditate on it continually. It is a precious help for distancing yourself from a superficial activism too, which might satisfy our pride for a moment, but that, in the end, leaves one empty and unsatisfied".

   The Holy Father invoked the help of the Virgin Mary: "Like her, we want to renew our "yes" and entrust our journey to God." He affirmed. VATICAN CITY, MARCH 6, 2011

Papal prayer intentions for March. Benedict XVI is dedicating this month to pray for Latin America, "That the nations of Latin America may walk in fidelity to the Gospel and progress in justice and peace."

   The Pontiff's apostolic intention for March is: "That the Holy Spirit may give light and strength to those in many regions of the world who are persecuted and discriminated against because of the Gospel." VATICAN CITY, MARCH 1, 2011

Other papal messages and activities

"A new way of learning and thinking is being carried out, with unheard of opportunities to establish relationships and to build communion". The Pope affirmed as he addressed participants in the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. "The digital culture poses new challenges to our capacity to speak and to listen to a symbolic language that speaks of transcendence."

   "In the proclamation of the Kingdom, Jesus himself was able to use the elements of the culture and the environment of his time: the flock, the fields, the banquet, the seeds, etc." The Pope said. "Today we are called to discover, also in the digital culture, significant symbols and metaphors for persons, which can be of help when speaking of the Kingdom of God to contemporary man." VATICAN CITY, FEB. 28, 2011

On ZENIT’s Web page:
Full text:

"In the moral conscience, God speaks to each one and invites him to defend human life at all times," Benedict XVI stated in an address to participants in the 17th general assembly of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

   "It is necessary that the whole of society defend the right to life of the conceived and the true good of the woman, who never, under any circumstance, will be fulfilled in the choice of abortion." Benedict XVI affirmed. He noted the tragedy of "post-abortion syndrome -- the serious psychological difficulties often felt by women who have taken recourse to voluntary abortion."

   This syndrome, the Pontiff said, "reveals the irrepressible voice of the moral conscience," as well as "the grave wound it suffers each time that human action betrays the person's innate vocation to good."

   The Holy Father also focused attention on "the conscience, at times blurred, of the fathers of the children, who often abandon the pregnant women" and the necessity "to provide the necessary help to women who sadly have already taken recourse to abortion, and who now experience all its moral and existential tragedy." VATICAN CITY, FEB. 28, 2011

On ZENIT's Web page:

Full text:

Benedict XVI received in audience Jerzey Buzek, the president of the European Parliament.

   Buzek noted on the Web site of the European Parliament that "the meeting with the Holy Father was very moving." "At a time of such dramatic changes," he added, "a man of faith and intellect like Benedict XVI gives guidance and stability to hundreds of million of people across the world." VATICAN CITY, FEB. 28, 2011

The Holy Father honoured Cardinal Nasrallah Pierre Sfeir, 90, and accepted is resignation. The cardinal has been the patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites since 1986. "I am certain," he affirmed, "that you will always support the journey of the Maronite Church with your prayer, your wise counsel and sacrifices." VATICAN CITY, MARCH 1, 2011

New appointments. Benedict XVI accepted the resignation of Cardinal Roger Mahoney, archbishop of Los Angeles, who reached the age of retirement. He is succeeded by Archbishop José Gómez, 59.

   Auxiliary Bishop Peter Hundt of Toronto was appointed bishop of Corner Brook and Labrador, Newfoundland. Auxiliary Bishop Robert Daniels of London, Ontario, was appointed bishop of Grand Falls, Newfoundland.

   In Vietnam, Benedict XVI named Bishop Antoine Vu Huy Chuong of Hung Hoa, 66, as bishop of Da Lat. He also named Auxiliary Bishop Jean Marie Vu Tat, 67, of Hung Hoa as bishop of the same diocese.

   The Holy Father gave his consent to various canonical elections made by the Synod of Bishops of the Patriarchal Syriac Catholic Church.
Father Bouros Moshe, "protosincellus" (vicar general) of the Syriac Archeparchy of Mossul, Iraq, was named the Syriac archbishop of Mossul.
He succeeds Archbishop Basile Georges Casmoussa, who was transferred to the Syriac Catholic Patriarchal Curia.

   Father Yousif Abba, chancellor of the Syriac Catholic eparchy of the United States and Canada, was named the Syriac archbishop of Baghdad, Iraq.

   Lastly, Father Jihad Battah, "protosincellus" (vicar general) of the Syriac Archeparchy of Damascus, Syria, was named bishop of the Syriac Catholic Patriarchal Curia.  MARCH 1, 2011

 "Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week -- From the Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection," Benedict XVI's new book, will be presented in the Vatican on March 10.
In this book, he is underlining the serious need for mankind to recognize and understand truth and the meaning of creation by drawing near to God.

On ZENIT's Web page:
Excerpt of "Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week:"

Benedict XVI stressed the importance of ongoing catechetical formation upon receiving in audience bishops from the Philippines who are in Rome for their five-yearly "ad limina" visit. "The deep personal piety of your people needs to be nourished and supported by a profound understanding of and appreciation for the teachings of the Church in matters of faith and morals". He said, "Indeed, these elements are required in order for the human heart to give its full and proper response to God".

   He also reminded "that the greatest good that we can offer those whom we serve is given to us in the Eucharist. In the Holy Mass, the faithful receive the grace needed to be transformed in Jesus Christ." VATICAN CITY, MARCH 3, 2011

The Holy Father received in audience the president of Iceland, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson.


   Sebastián Piñera, the president of Chile, also visited the Pope in Rome.  VATICAN CITY, MARCH 4, 2011

More than 16,500 youth and 60 bishops are signed up for World Youth Day in Madrid this August. The list represents 380 U.S. groups, including parishes, youth organizations and other entities, and most participants are between 16 and 25 years old. WASHINGTON, D.C., MARCH 4, 2011

After the Angelus, Benedict XVI prayed that the assasination of Shahbaz Bhatti, will "awaken" consciences to the need to protect religious freedom. Bhatti, the only Christian member of Pakistan's cabinet, was an outspoken opponent of Pakistan's anti-blasphemy laws. These laws are decried by human rights advocates around the world as a method to repress minorities.

   He is the second Pakistani official to be murdered for his opposition to the laws in as many months. Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab Province, was killed in early January by his bodyguard.

   The Pope also said that he is following "with great apprehension the tensions that in these have arisen in the various countries of Africa and Asia."

   In particular he mentioned Libya, "where the recent conflicts have caused numerous deaths and a growing humanitarian crisis."

   "I assure my prayers and nearness to all the victims and those who find themselves in anxious circumstances as I call for help and succour for the stricken populations." he added. VATICAN CITY, MARCH 6, 2011

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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Post a Comment
Published by: Kathy Ewasew
Date: 2011-03-11 04:38:34
I was very glad to find a site that conveyed up to date information on His Holiness's services. I also look forward to pictures of Pope Benedict XVI. It does not seem there have been many of them passed about. We have a Pope with a long history and a long preparation for the office. I was particularly impressed with his work on the Catholic Catechism. Thank-you.

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