RADIO VATICANA REPORT: Early Sunday morning, Rome was woken to the sound of song as thousands of young boys and girls from the Catholic Action group wound their Caravan of Peace through the city’s streets on route to St. Peter’s Square. In two thousand cities across the world other young people, like them, were also marking the International Day of intercession for peace in the Holy Land.
“We want to bring the joy of our
faith onto the streets”, Noemi, a young girl told Pope Benedict, joining him at
the window of his study for the annual release of two white doves following the
midday Angelus prayer. In prepared remarks, she spoke of Catholic Action’s
commitment to reflect, even in silence, on the value of peace, recalling those
children who are born into difficult situations and of how their group is
sponsoring a detention centre, as an alternative to prison, for underage girls
"We ask you to pray with us for our parents, teachers and
priests so that we may be formed to be witnesses and peacemakers”, she
concluded. Then two young people, together with Pope Benedict, released the two
doves, a gesture the Holy Father described as a " sign of peace for the city of
Rome and the whole world" and on seeing that the doves at first seemed to want
to go back inside, he jokingly added: "They want to stay in the Pope’s
The International Day of intercession for peace in the Holy Land
was born from the desire of some Catholic youth associations, in communion with
the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the Holy Land and involves churches of
the 5 continents. Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa is the Custodian of the Holy
Land. He says “the first that we as Christians could and should do is refer all
of our aims for peace to God. Peace means relations, good relations among us and
our relations should start first and foremost from our relations with God”. “The
youth have the responsibility to build a mentality and culture of peace in the
next generation. This is a very important moment”.
Earlier in his
reflections before the Angelus Pope Benedict spoke of the Sunday Gospel where we
hear how the unclean spirit recognizes Jesus as the “Holy One of God”. He said:
“For man, authority often means possession, power, control, success. For God,
however, authority means service, humility, love”.
Pope Benedict also
marked World Leprosy Day encouraging “all those affected by this disease, as
well as their caregivers who, in many ways, are committed to eradicating poverty
and marginalization, the real causes of the persistence of the infection”.
And finally he recalled that on Thursday, February 2, we celebrate the
feast of the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple, the World Day for
Consecrated Life. To mark the occasion, Pope Benedict will preside at Vespers in
St. Peter’s Basilica at 17.30, together with members of the Institutes of
Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.
Pope: True authority is
humble service in loveRADIO VATICANA REPORT:
In his Angelus reflections
this week Pope Benedict XVI spoke of Sunday’s Gospel where we hear how the
unclean spirit recognizes Jesus as the “Holy One of God”. He also marked World
Leprosy Day, joined his prayers to the International Day of intercession for
peace in the Holy Land and together with the young people of Catholic Action
Italy, released two white doves as a sign of peace above the city of
Below a Vatican Radio translation of the Holy Father’s Sunday
Dear brothers and sisters!
Sunday's Gospel (Mk 1.21 to 28) presents us with Jesus, on the Sabbath day, as
he preached at the synagogue at Capernaum, the small town where Peter and his
brother Andrew lived on the lake of Galilee. In his teaching, which arouses the
wonder of the people, following the liberation of "a man with an unclean spirit"
(v. 23), who recognizes in Jesus as the "saint of God," that is, the Messiah. In
a short time, his fame spread throughout the region, which he travels announcing
the Kingdom of God and healing the sick of all kinds: word and deed. St. John
Chrysostom observes how the Lord "alternates the speech for the benefit of those
who listen, moving on from wonders to words and again passing from the teaching
of his doctrine to miracles" (Hom. on Matthew 25, 1: PG 57, 328).
word that Jesus speaks to men immediately opens access to the will of the Father
and the truth about themselves. It was not so, however, for the scribes, who
struggled to interpret the Holy Scriptures with countless reflections.
Furthermore, to the efficacy of the word, Jesus united the signs of deliverance
from evil. St. Athanasius observes that "commanding and driving out demons is
not human but divine work ', in fact, the Lord "distanced men from all diseases
and infirmities. Who, seeing his power ... still doubted that he was the Son,
the Wisdom and Power of God? " (Oratio de Incarnatione Verbi 18:19: PG 25, 128
BC.129 B). Divine authority is not a force of nature. It is the power of the
love of God who created the Universe and, in becoming incarnate in His only
begotten Son, in coming down to our humanity, heals the world corrupted by sin.
Romano Guardini writes: "The whole life of Jesus is a translation of power in
humility ... Here is the sovereignty that lowers itself to the form of a
servant" (Power, Brescia 1999, 141,142).
For man, authority often means
possession, power, control success. For God, however, authority means service,
humility, love; it means entering into the logic of Jesus who stoops to wash the
disciples' feet (cf. Jn 13.5), who seeks the true good of man, who heals wounds,
who is capable of a love so great as to give up his life, because he is Love. In
one of her Letters, Saint Catherine of Siena writes: "We must see and know, in
truth, with the light of faith, that God is the supreme and eternal Love, and
desires nothing else but our good "(Ep. 13 in: The Letters, vol. 3, Bologna
Dear friends, on Thursday, February 2, we celebrate the feast
of the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple, the World Day for Consecrated
Life. With confidence we invoke Mary Most Holy that she may guide our hearts to
always draw from divine mercy, which frees and heals our humanity, filling it
with every grace and benevolence, through the power of love.
I offer a warm
welcome to the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at this Angelus
prayer. In this Sunday’s Gospel we hear how the unclean spirit recognizes Jesus
as the “Holy One of God”. Let us pray that, despite the distractions of life and
the apparent progress of evil, we may continue to put our faith in the Lord
Jesus who is “the way, the truth and the life”. I wish all of you a good Sunday.
May God bless you!
Today, in Vienna, the beatification takes place of Hildegard
Burjan, a lay woman and mother, who lived in the nineteenth and twentieth
century and is founder of the Society of the Sisters of Caritas Socialis. We
praise the Lord for this beautiful testimony of the Gospel!
marks the World Day of Leprosy. In greeting the Italian Association of Friends
of Raoul Follereau, I would like to extend my encouragement to all those
affected by this disease, as well as their caregivers who, in many ways, are
committed to eradicating poverty and marginalization, the real causes of the
persistence of the infection.
I remember also the International Day of
intercession for peace in the Holy Land. In profound communion with the Latin
Patriarch of Jerusalem and the Custos of the Holy Land, we invoke the gift of
peace for this land blessed by God
I greet with affection the
Italian-speaking pilgrims, especially the faithful who came from Taranto, Bari
and Civitavecchia, and the numerous children of Catholic Action of Rome,
accompanied by the Cardinal Vicar Agostino Vallini, with their teachers and
family. Dear children, this year you gave birth to the "Caravan of Peace". Thank
you and I encourage you to take everywhere the peace of Jesus.
we release the doves, which the young people have brought as a sign of peace for
the city of Rome and the whole world.
A blessed Sunday to all!