Friday, April 26, 2013


Vatican Radio REPORT An estimated 70 thousand young boys and girls are descending on St Peter’s Square this weekend for the first in a series of ‘great events’ with the Holy Father organized for the Year of Faith by the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization.

On Saturday and Sunday those young boys and girls who have been confirmed in their faith or are about to be confirmed will gather in St Peter’s from all over the world together with Pope Francis, while next weekend it will be the turn of confraternities. 

In a press briefing earlier this week, Council President, Archbishop Rhino Fisichella explained that the common denominator of the events, which will take place in Rome with the Holy Father, will be “of highlighting pilgrimage to the tomb of Peter. That is why, the day before, the participants will take part in a symbolic procession from the obelisk in St. Peter's Square to the tomb of the Apostle where they will pray the Creed. Along the way there will be a brief catechesis to recall the significance of the places that we find ourselves at and their historic meaning for the faith.”

The first event will take place this 27-28 April and will be dedicated to all those who have received or who will receive the Sacrament of Confirmation this year. “Already more than 70,000 youth, accompanied by their catechists and priests, have signed up. This presence shows the enthusiasm with which they have joined in the initiative and the great turn-out that we should expect.”

For the first time, Pope Francis will confer the Sacrament of Confirmation on 44 youth from around the world, symbolically representing the entire Church. “They are youth,” the archbishop said, “ who show the face of the Church there where people are living and suffering, to give all hope and certainty for the future.” But there will not just be youth in attendance since there is no uniformity on the age at which to receive the Sacrament and the ages of the confirmands who are coming stretches from 11 to 55.

The second important event, which over 50,000 persons have already signed up for, will take place from 3 to 5 May and will be dedicated to popular piety. The Confraternities, particularly from the countries where the tradition is strongest, will give witness to the different local traditions that have resulted from a religiosity that has been expressed through the centuries with initiatives and works of art that have lasted to this day. The event's culminating moment will be Mass celebrated by the Pope on Sunday at 10:00am in St. Peter's Square.

It will be “a moment of faith,” the prelate concluded, “that finds, in the simplicity of the expressions of popular piety, its most deep-rooted core in our people who live these signs uninterruptedly as a reminder of the faith of previous generations and as a tradition that should be witnessed to with courage and enthusiasm.”SHARED FROM RADIO VATICANA

Vatican City, 26 April 2013 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father received in audience Mr. Andry Nirina Rajoelina, president of the High Transitional Authority of Madagascar. President Rajoelina then met with the Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.
During the cordial talks, the good relations existing between the Holy See and the Republic of Madagascar were focused on and some aspects of the country's situation were examined. In particular, Madagascar's efforts in the quest for stability and democracy, greater economic development, and reconstruction of international relations were noted. The Malagasy Church's significant contribution in supporting national dialogue and its indispensable capillary commitment in the areas of health and education were highlighted.
Vatican City, 26 April 2013 (VIS) – The journey of faith is not alienating, it is a preparation for arriving at our final destiny. These were the Pope's words during today's homily of the Mass he celebrated this morning at the Domus Sanctae Marthae. In attendance were employees of the Vatican Typography, the labour office of the Apostolic See (ULSA), and members of Corps of the Gendarmerie.
Pope Francis commented on Jesus' words to his disciples in today's Gospel: “Do not let your hearts be troubled.” “Jesus' words are truly beautiful. At the moment of his farewell, Jesus speaks to his disciples, but from the heart. He knows that his disciples are sad … and He begins to speak of what? About heaven, about their final homeland. 'Have faith [in God] and also in me? … Using the image of an engineer, of an architect telling them what He is going to do: 'I am going to prepare you a place, in my Father's house there are many dwelling places.' And Jesus goes to prepare a place for us.”
Preparing a place means “preparing our possibility to enjoy, … our possibility to see, to fell, to understand the beauty of what awaits us, of that homeland towards which we walk. All of Christian life is Jesus' labour, the Holy Spirit's, to prepare us a place, to prepare our eyes to be able to see … our hearing to be able to hear the beautiful things, the beautiful words. Above all, to prepare our hearts … to love, to love more.”
Along our lives' path, the pontiff repeated, the Lord prepares our hearts “with trials, with consolations, with tribulations, with good things. The entire journey of our lives is a path of preparation. Sometimes the Lord has to do it quickly, like He did with the Good Thief. There were just a few minutes to prepare him and He did it. But it generally happens that way in our lives, doesn't it? Letting him prepare our hearts, our eyes, our hearing to arrive at this homeland. Because that is our homeland.”
But some would say “that all these thoughts are an alienation, that we are alienated, that this is life, the concrete, and beyond it you don't know what might be. … But Jesus tells us that it is not thus. He tells us: 'Have faith in me as well.' What I am telling you is the truth: I am not tricking you; I am not deceiving you.”
“Preparing oneself for heaven,” the Bishop of Rome finished, “is beginning to greet him from afar. This is not an alienation. This is the truth. This is letting Jesus prepare our hearts, our eyes, for that great beauty. It is the path of beauty, the path of our return to the homeland. May God grant us the hope, courage, and humility to let the Lord prepare us a place!”
Vatican City, 26 April 2013 (VIS) – This morning the Holy Father received in separate audiences:
- Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, and
- Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, titular of Vicohabentia and president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation.
This afternoon he is scheduled to receive Senator Mario Monti, prime minister of Italy, on his farewell visit.
Vatican City, 26 April 2013 (VIS) – Today the Holy Father:
- accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Klerksdorp, South Africa, presented by Bishop Zithulele Patrick Mvemve in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law. The Holy Father has appointed Archbishop Buti Joseph Tlhagale, O.M.I., of Johannesburg, South Africa, as apostolic administrator "sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis" of the same diocese.
- appointed Fr. Juan Antonio Menendez Fernandez as auxiliary of the Archdiocese of Oviedo (area 10,565, population 1,088,000, Catholics 1,034,000, priests 533, religious 1,009), Spain, assigning him the Titular See of Nasai. The bishop-elect, previously pastor of San Nicolas de Bari parish in Aviles, Asturias, Spain, and episcopal vicar for Juridical Affairs of the same archdiocese, was born in Villamarin de Salcedo, Asturias, Spain, in 1957 and was ordained a priest in 1981.

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