Wednesday, February 3, 2016
- Year XXVI - Num. 22
|- General audience: God's justice is mercy|
|- Interview with the Pope: seeking the richness of faith in Mexico|
|- Francis closes the Year of Consecrated Life|
|- Presentation to the Pope of the book on the Papal fleet in the Dardanelles, 1657|
|General audience: God's justice is mercy|
Vatican City, (VIS) – The relationship between mercy and justice, in the light of the Sacred Scriptures, was the theme of Pope Francis' catechesis in general audience, which took place in St. Peter's Square and was attended by more than ten thousand people.
"The Sacred Scripture presents God as infinite mercy, but also as perfect justice", he said. "How can the two be reconciled? They may appear to be contradictory, but this is not the case, as it is precisely God's mercy that leads us to achieve true justice. In the legal administration of justice, we see that those who consider themselves to have been victims of abuse consult a judge in court and ask that justice be done. It is a retributive justice, inflicting punishment on the guilty, according to the principle that each person receives what he deserves. … But this route does not lead to true justice, as in reality it does not conquer evil, it simply limits it. Instead, only by responding with good can evil truly be conquered".
The Bible, he explained, proposes a different form of justice, in which the victim invites the guilty party to convert, helping him to understand the harm he has done and appealing to his conscience. "In this way, recognising his blame, he can open up to the forgiveness that the injured party offers. … This is the way of resolving conflicts within families, in relations between spouses and between parents and children, in which the injured party loves the guilty and does not wish to lose the bond between them. It is certainly a difficult path: it demands that the victim be disposed to forgive and wishes for the salvation and the good of the perpetrator of the damage. But only in this way can justice triumph, as if the guilty party acknowledges the harm he has done and ceases to do so, the evil no longer exists and the unjust becomes just, as he has been forgiven and helped to find the way of good".
"God treats us sinners, in the same way. He continually offers us His forgiveness, He helps us to welcome Him and to be aware of our evil so as to free ourselves of it. God does not seek our condemnation, only our salvation. God does not wish to condemn anyone! … The Lord of Mercy wishes to save everyone. … The problem is letting Him enter into our heart. All the words of the prophets are an impassioned and love-filled plea for our conversion".
God's heart is "the heart of a Father Who loves all His children and wants them to live in goodness and justice, and therefore to live in fullness and happiness. A Father's heart that goes beyond our meagre concept of justice so as to open up to us the immense horizons of His mercy. A Father's heart that does not treat us or repay us according to our sins, as the Psalm says".
"It is precisely a Father's heart that we encounter when we go to the confessional", Francis emphasised. "Perhaps it will tell us something to better understand our evil, but at the confessional we all go in search of a father who will help us change our life; a father who gives us the strength to go on; a father who forgives us in God's name. Therefore, to be a confessor is a great responsibility, as the son or daughter who comes to you seeks only to encounter a father. And you, the priest there in the confessional, are the place where the Father does justice with His mercy", he concluded.
|Interview with the Pope: seeking the richness of faith in Mexico|
Vatican City, (VIS) – Next week Pope Francis will begin his apostolic trip to Mexico. From he will visit Mexico City, Ecatepec, Tuxtla Gutierrez, San Cristobal de Las Casas, Morelia and Ciudad Juarez, and will pray before Our Lady of Guadalupe. For the occasion, the agency Notimex recorded a series of brief questions and expressions of hope for the Mexican people in four videos, presented to the Holy Father. The Pope responded with a video that will be broadcast today on the Notimex website. The following is a summary of the questions and answers. The images can be obtained from the Vatican Television Centre.
Question: Why are you coming to Mexico? What brings you to Mexico?
Pope Francis: "What moves me most is this: what are coming to look for in Mexico? I will come to Mexico not like a Wise Man loaded with things to bring, messages, ideas, solutions to problems … I come to Mexico as a pilgrim, to look for something among the Mexican people. … I come to seek the wealth of faith you have, I come for that infectious wealth of faith. You have an idiosyncrasy, a way of being that is the fruit of a very long road, a history that has been forged slowly, with pain, with success, with failures, with searching, but with a common thread. You have great richness in your heart and, above all, you are not an orphaned people, as you are proud to have a Mother, and when a man or a woman or a people do not forget their Mother, this provides a wealth that cannot be described; it is received and transmitted. So, I will go in search of some of this in you. A people that does not forget its Mother, the Mother who forged her people in hope".
Question: What does Our Lady of Guadalupe represent for the Pope?
Pope Francis: "Security, tenderness. Sometimes I am afraid of certain problems or something unpleasant happens and I do not know how to react, and I pray to her. I like to repeat to myself, 'Do not be afraid, am I not here, your Mother?'. They are her words: 'Do not be afraid'. … I feel this, that she is our Mother, who cares, protects and leads a people, who leads a family, who gives the warmth of home, who caresses with tenderness and who banishes fear. … It is an eloquent image, that of a Mother like a blanket who covers and cares, in the midst of her people. … This is what I feel before Her. … What I would ask you, as a favour, is that this time, the third time I will be on Mexican soil, that you will let me spend a moment before the image. That is the favour I ask of you".
Question: How would you help us to face the violence here?
Pope Francis: "Violence, corruption, war, children who cannot go to school because their country is at war, trafficking, arms manufacturers who sell weapons so that the wars of the world can continue … this is more or less the climate that we live in the world, and you are experiencing a part of it, a part of this 'war', this part of suffering, of violence, of organised trafficking. If I come to you, it is to receive the best of you and to pray with you, so that the problems … that you know exist may be resolved, because the Mexico of violence, the Mexico of corruption, the Mexico of drug trafficking, the Mexico of the cartels, is not the Mexico that our Mother loves, and of course I do not wish to cover up any of that; on the contrary, I would urge you to fight, day by day, against corruption, against trafficking, against war, against disunity, against organised crime, against human trafficking".
"'May you bring us a little peace', one of you said. Peace is something that must be worked on every day, and – to use a phrase that sounds like a contradiction – it must be fought for, every day. It is necessary to combat every day for peace, not for war. It is necessary to sow gentleness, understanding, peace. St. Francis prayed, 'Lord, make me an instrument of your peace'. I would like to be an instrument of peace in Mexico, but with all of you. … And how is peace formed? Peace is a craft, it is formed by hand. From the education of a child to the care for an elderly person: they are all seeds of peace. Peace is born of tenderness, peace is born of understanding, peace is born or is made in dialogue, not in rupture, and this is the key word: dialogue. Dialogue between leaders, dialogue with the people, and dialogue among all people. … Do not be afraid of listening to others, to seeing their motivations. And please, do not enter into any traps to make money; it enslaves life in an inner war and takes away freedom, because peace brings freedom. I come to ask the Virgin, along with you, to give us this peace, so that Our Lady of Guadalupe may give us peace in our heart, in the family, in the city, and in all the country".
Question: What do you wish for from us, and what are your hopes for us?
Pope Francis: "I come to serve, to be a servant of the faith for you … because I felt this vocation … to serve the faith of the people. But this faith must grow and go out into daily life; it must be a public faith. And faith becomes strong when it is public, above all … in moments of crisis. … It is true that there is a crisis of faith in the world. But it is also true that there is a great blessing and a desire … for faith to come forth, for faith to be missionary, for faith not to be closed up in a tin. Our faith is not a museum faith, and the Church is not a museum. Our faith is born of contact, of dialogue with Jesus Christ, our Saviour, with the Lord. … If faith does not go out into the street, it is no use; and taking faith out into the street does not mean merely a procession. That faith goes out into the street means that we show ourselves to be Christians in the workplace, in the family, at university, in college. … Faith wants to be on the streets, like Jesus. … Where did Jesus spend most of his time? On the street, preaching the Gospel, bearing witness. … Our faith demands that we too go forth, that we do not keep Jesus confined to ourselves without letting Him out, as Jesus goes out with us, so if we do not go forth, neither does He. … Renewing the faith means going out into the streets, not being afraid of conflict, seeking solutions to family, school, social and economic problems. Faith has to be my inspiration for my commitment to my people, and it has its risks and its dangers. I would like to end with some of our Mother's words; through me, she is saying to you, 'Do not be afraid of going forth, do not be afraid, my child, I am here and I am your Mother".
|Francis closes the Year of Consecrated Life|
Vatican City, (VIS) – Yesterday, the feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple and the Day of Consecrated Life, Pope Francis presided at the Holy Mass for the Jubilee of Consecrated Life, held in the Vatican Basilica at Members of the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life concelebrated with the Holy Father.
During the rite, which opened with the blessing of the candles and the procession, the Pope pronounced a homily, extensive extracts of which are published below. He emphasised that gratitude, for the gift of the Holy Spirit that always inspires the Church through different charisms is the word that best summarises the Year of Consecrated Life.
"Before our eyes there is a simple, humble and great fact: Jesus was taken by Mary and Joseph to the temple of Jerusalem. He is a child like any other … but He is unique: He is the only begotten Son Who came for all of us. This Child brought us God's mercy and tenderness. Jesus is the face of the Father's mercy. This is the icon that the Gospel offers us at the end of the Year of Consecrated Life, a year lived with great enthusiasm. Like a river, it now flows into the sea of mercy, in this immense mystery of love that we are experiencing with the extraordinary Jubilee".
"Today's feast, especially in the East, is called the feast of encounter. Indeed, in the Gospel there are several encounters. In the temple, Jesus comes towards us and we come towards Him. We contemplate the encounter with the elderly Simeon, who represents the faithful hope of Israel and the exultation of the heart for the fulfilment of the ancient promises. We also admire the encounter with the elderly prophetess Anna. Simeon and Anna are hope and prophecy; Jesus is newness and completion. He presents Himself to us as God's perennial surprise. In this Child, born for all, the past, made up of memory and promise, and the future, full of hope, are brought together".
"We can see here the beginning of consecrated life. Consecrated men and women are called, first of all, to be men and women of encounter. Vocation, indeed, is not the result of a project of our own … but rather the grace of the Lord Who reaches out to us, through a life-changing encounter. Those who encounter Jesus cannot stay the same as they were before. Those who live this encounter become witnesses and make encounter possible for others too; and they become promoters of the culture of encounter, avoiding the self-referentiality that causes us to become self-centred".
"Jesus, to come towards us, did not hesitate to share in our human condition. … He did not save us 'from outside', He did not stay out of our drama, but instead chose to share our life. Consecrated men and women are called to be a concrete sign of this closeness to God, this sharing in the condition of frailty and sin and the wounds of man in our time".
"The Gospel also tells us that 'the child's father and mother marvelled at what was said about Him'. Joseph and Mary wondered at this encounter full of light and hope for all peoples. And we too, as Christians and as consecrated persons, are guardians of wonder. A wonder that always asks to be renewed; woe to those who settle into habit in spiritual life; woe to those whose charisms are crystallised in abstract doctrine. The charisms of the founders, as I have said many times, must not be sealed up in bottles – they are not museum pieces. Our founders were moved by the Holy Spirit, and were not afraid of getting their hands dirty in everyday life, getting involved in the problems of the people and reaching out courageously to the geographical and existential peripheries".
"Finally, from today's feast we learn to live with gratitude for the encounter with Jesus and for the gift of the vocation to consecrated life. Giving thanks: the Eucharist. How beautiful it is when we encounter the happy face of consecrated persons, perhaps of advanced age like Simeon or Anna, content and full of gratitude for their vocation. This is a word that can summarise all that we have lived during this Year of Consecrated Life: gratitude for the gift of the Holy Spirit, that always inspires the Church through the various charisms".
Following Mass in the Basilica, the Pope went out into St. Peter's Square to greet the many consecrated men and women who had not been able to enter the Vatican Basilica. He addressed the following words to them:
"Thank you for ending here, all together, this Year of Consecrated Life. And keep going! Each one of us has a place, a job to do in the Church. Please, do not forget your first vocation, your first call. Remember this. And with that love with which you were called, today the Lord continues to call to you. Do not let that beauty, that wonder of the first call, diminish. Keep working. … There is always something to do. The main thing is to pray. The centre of consecrated life is prayer. And so we age, but we age like good wine!".
"Let me say something to you. I like it when I find elderly men and women religious, with shining eyes, because the fire of spiritual life is alight in them. That flame has not been extinguished. … Continue to work and to look to with hope, always asking the Lord to send us new vocations, so that our work of consecrated may keep going ahead. And memory: do not forget the first call! Work, day by day, and then the hope to go ahead and to sow. May the others who follow us receive the legacy we leave to them".
|Presentation to the Pope of the book on the Papal fleet in the Dardanelles, 1657|
Vatican City, (VIS) – This morning, at the conclusion of the General Audience, Rinaldo Marmara presented to Pope Francis a copy of his book "La Squadra Pontificia ai Dardanelli 1657 / Ilk Canakkale Zafer? 1657". This volume is an Italian and Turkish transliteration of a manuscript from the Chigi collection of the Vatican Apostolic Library that is an account of the papal fleet that participated in the Second Battle of the Dardanelles in 1657. During a presentation of the book last evening, the author stated that his objective was to make important archival material from the Vatican Archives and Vatican Library accessible to Turkish historians and researchers. The book, notwithstanding the painful memories of history, illustrates the importance of scholarly research and opening up archives to historical investigation in the service of truth and building bridges of cooperation and mutual understanding.
In light of this, the repeated commitment of Turkey to make its archives available to historians and researchers of interested parties in order to arrive jointly at a better understanding of historical events and the pain and suffering endured by all parties, regardless of their religious or ethnic identity, caught up in war and conflict, including the tragic events of 1915, is noted and appreciated. The painful events of history should not be forgotten; instead they require careful examination and reflection so that they may lead to the healing and purification of memory so necessary for reconciliation and forgiveness for individuals and peoples, as St. John Paul II affirmed.
The memory of the suffering and pain of both the distant and the more recent past, as in the case of the assassination of Taha Car?m, Ambassador of Turkey to the Holy See, in June 1977, at the hands of a terrorist group, urges us also to acknowledge the suffering of the present and to condemn all acts of violence and terrorism, which continue to cause victims today.
Particularly heinous and offensive is violence and terrorism committed in the name of God or religion. As His Holiness Pope Francis stated during his visit to the Central African Republic: “Christians and Muslims are brothers and sisters. … Together, we must say no to hatred, no to revenge and no to violence, particularly that violence which is perpetrated in the name of a religion or of God himself". May these words inspire all people of goodwill to remember and affirm their brotherhood, solidarity, compassion and shared humanity and to reiterate their common stand against all violence.
- Year XXVI - Num. 21
|Francis wishes a happy New Year to China: may dialogue between peoples contribute to peace and development|
Vatican City, February 2016 (VIS) - To mark the occasion of the upcoming Chinese New Year, the Holy Father Francis has granted an extensive interview to the online daily Asia Times, Hong Kong. The Pope took the opportunity to express his wishes to President Xi Jinping and all the Chinese people, and his high esteem for the Chinese people and their culture, in the hope that the Chinese contribution to dialogue between peoples may contribute to peace and the integral development of the human family.
The original text can be found on the Asia Times website at atimes.com.; an abridged version is published below.
Asia Times: "What is China for you? How did you imagine China to be as a young man, given that China, for Argentina, is not the East but the far West? What does Matteo Ricci mean to you?"
Pope Francis: "For me, China has always been a reference point of greatness. A great country. But more than a country, a great culture, with an inexhaustible wisdom. For me, as a boy, whenever I read anything about China, it had the capacity to inspire my admiration. ... Later I looked into Matteo Ricci’s life and I saw how this man felt the same thing in the exact way I did, admiration, and how he was able to enter into dialogue with this great culture, with this age-old wisdom. He was able to “encounter” it. … Ricci’s experience teaches us that it is necessary to enter into dialogue with China, because it is an accumulation of wisdom and history. It is a land blessed with many things. And the Catholic Church, one of whose duties is to respect all civilisations, before this civilisation, I would say, has the duty to respect it with a capital “R”. The Church has great potential to receive culture".
Asia Times: "China, for the first time in its thousands of years of history, is emerging from its own environment and opening to the world, creating unprecedented challenges for itself and for the world. You have spoken of a third world war that is furtively advancing: what challenges does this present in the quest for peace?"
Pope Francis: "Being afraid is never a good counsellor. … And it is obvious that so much culture and so much wisdom, and in addition, so much technical knowledge – we have only to think of age-old medicinal techniques – cannot remain enclosed within a country; they tend to expand, to spread, to communicate. Man tends to communicate, a civilisation tends to communicate. It is evident that when communication happens in an aggressive tone to defend oneself, then wars result. But I would not be fearful. It is a great challenge to keep the balance of peace. … The Western world, the Eastern world and China all have the capacity to maintain the balance of peace and the strength to do so. We must find the way, always through dialogue; there is no other way. Encounter is achieved through dialogue. The true balance of peace is realised through dialogue. Dialogue does not mean that we end up with a compromise, half the cake for you and the other half for me. This is what happened in Yalta and we saw the results. No, dialogue means: look, we have got to this point, I may or may not agree, but let us walk together; this is what it means to build. And the cake stays whole, walking together. The cake belongs to everyone, it is humanity, culture. Carving up the cake, as in Yalta, means dividing humanity and culture into small pieces. And culture and humanity cannot be carved into small pieces".
Asia Times: "China has experienced over the last few decades tragedies without comparison. Since 1980 the Chinese have sacrificed that which has always been most dear to them, their children. For the Chinese these are very serious wounds. Among other things, this has left enormous emptiness in their consciences and somehow an extremely deep need to be reconciled with themselves and to forgive themselves. In the Year of Mercy what message can you offer the Chinese people?"
Pope Francis: "The aging of a population ... is happening in many places. … Perhaps behind this there is the fear you are alluding to, the mistaken perception, not that we will simply fall behind, but that we will fall into misery, so therefore, let’s not have children. There are other societies that have opted for the contrary. For example, during my trip to Albania, I was astonished to discover that the average age of the population is approximately 40 years. … Countries that have suffered and opt for youth. Then there is the problem of work. Something that China does not have, because it has the capacity to offer work both in the countryside and in the city. And it is true, the problem for China of not having children must be very painful; because the pyramid is then inverted and a child has to bear the burden of his father, mother, grandfather and grandmother. And this is exhausting, demanding, disorientating. It is not the natural way. I understand that China has opened up possibilities on this front".
Asia Times: "How should these challenges of families in China be faced, given that they find themselves in a process of profound change and no longer correspond to the traditional Chinese model of the family?"
Pope Francis: "The history of a people is always a path. A people at times walks more quickly, at times more slowly, at times it pauses, at times it makes a mistake and goes backwards a little, or takes the wrong path and has to retrace its steps to follow the right way. But when a people moves forward, this does not worry me because it means they are making history. And I believe that the Chinese people are moving forward and this is their greatness. … And I would go further: do not be bitter, but be at peace with your own path, even if you have made mistakes. I cannot say my history was bad, that I hate my history.
No, every people must be reconciled with its history as its own path, with its successes and its mistakes. And this reconciliation with one’s own history brings much maturity, much growth. … When one takes responsibility for one’s own path, accepting it for what it was, this allows one’s historical and cultural richness to emerge, even in difficult moments. And how can it be allowed to emerge? Here we return to the first question: in dialogue with today’s world. To dialogue does not mean that I surrender myself, because at times there is the danger, in the dialogue between different countries, of hidden agendas, namely, cultural colonisations. It is necessary to recognise the greatness of the Chinese people, who have always maintained their culture. And their culture – I am not speaking about ideologies that there may have been in the past – their culture was not imposed".
Asia Times: "The country’s economic growth proceeded at an overwhelming pace but this has also brought with it human and environmental disasters which Beijing is striving to confront and resolve. At the same time, the pursuit of work efficiency is burdening families with new costs: sometimes children and parents are separated due to the demands of work. What message can you give them?"
Pope Francis: "I would suggest a healthy realism; reality must be accepted from wherever it comes. … First, I must be reconciled with reality. I don’t like it, I am against it, it makes me suffer, but if I don’t come to terms with it, I won’t be able to do anything. The second step is to work to improve reality and to change its direction. … If this happens to a company which has worked for twenty years and there is a business crisis, then there are few avenues of creativity to improve it. On the contrary, when it happens in an age-old country, with its age-old history, its age-old wisdom, its age-old creativity, then tension is created between the present problem and this past of ancient richness. And this tension brings fruitfulness as it looks to the future. I believe that the great richness of China today lies in looking to the future from a present that is sustained by the memory of its cultural past".
Asia Times: "On the occasion of the upcoming Chinese New Year of the Monkey, would you like to send a greeting to the Chinese people, to the Authorities and to President Xi Jinping?"
Pope Francis: "On the eve of the New Year, I wish to convey my best wishes and greetings to President Xi Jinping and to all the Chinese people. And I wish to express my hope that they never lose their historical awareness of being a great people, with a great history of wisdom, and that they have much to offer to the world. The world looks to this great wisdom of yours. In this New Year, with this awareness, may you continue to go forward in order to help and cooperate with everyone in caring for our common home and our common peoples".
|The Pope: consecrated life must be close to the people|
Vatican City, (VIS) – The following are extensive extracts of the Holy Father's extemporaneous address to the participants in the Jubilee of Consecrated Life, which took place yesterday in the Paul VI Hall. This afternoon in St. Peter's Basilica he will celebrate the Mass to conclude the Year of Consecrated Life.
"I have prepared a text for this occasion regarding the themes of consecrated life and three of its most important pillars: prophecy, closeness and hope.
"Men and women religious – that is, men and women consecrated to the service of the Lord who follow in the Church this road of poverty and of chaste love that leads to a paternity and maternity for all the Church, an obedience … that is not military, no; that is discipline, it is something else. It is the obedience of giving one's heart. And this is prophecy. 'But don't you want to do something else?' 'Yes, but according to the rules I must do this. … And if something isn't clear to me, I speak with the superior, and after dialogue, I obey'. This is prophecy, against the seed of anarchy, that the devil sows. … Prophecy means telling people that there is a road of happiness, greatness, a road that fills you with joy, that is indeed Jesus' way. It is the road of being close to Jesus. Prophecy is a gift, it is a charism that must be asked for from the Holy Spirit: that I might know how to say that word, at the right moment; that I do the right thing at the right moment; that all my life may be a prophecy".
The other word is closeness. Men and women are consecrated, not to distance themselves from people and to live in comfort; no, to become closer to and to understand the life of Christians and non-Christians, their suffering, their problems, the many things that can be understood only if a consecrated man or woman is close to them. … Consecrated life is not a status that allows us to watch others from a distance. Consecrated life must lead us to closeness to the people: physical and spiritual closeness, knowing the people. … Who is the person closest to a consecrated man or woman? His brother or her sister in the community. And also a pleasant, a good closeness, with love. … One way of alienating people is to gossip … the terrorism of gossip. A person who gossips is a terrorist in his or her own community, who throws words against others like a bomb, and then moves on. … The apostle James said that the most difficult virtue, the most difficult human and spiritual virtue to have, is that of controlling one's tongue. … 'But Father, if there is something, a defect, something to be corrected?'. You say it directly to the person: you have this attitude that bothers me, or is not good. Or if this would not be appropriate – because at times it is not prudent – then you can say it to the person who can remedy the situation, who can resolve the problem, and to no-one else. 'What? In the chapter?' Yes! In public, all that you feel you must say, because there is the temptation not to say things there, and then outside: 'Have you seen the superior? Than why didn't you say it there, in the chapter? Is this clear? These are virtues of closeness".
"And then, hope. I confess that it troubles me greatly when I see the decline in vocations, when I receive bishops and ask them, 'How many seminarians do you have?', and they tell me, 'Four or five...'. When, in your religious communities – male or female – you have one or two novices, and the community is ageing … When there are monasteries, great monasteries … that are kept going by four or five elderly nuns … Faced with all this, I am tempted to ask, against hope, 'Lord, what is happening? Why has the womb of consecrated life become so barren? Some congregations have experimented … what do they do? They welcome, 'Come, come, come!'. And then there are problems inside. No. It is necessary to welcome in a serious way. We must discern well if this is a true vocation and help it to grow. And I think that, counter to the temptation to lose hope, that leads us to this barrenness, we must pray more, and pray tirelessly. ...'Our congregation needs sons, daughters …': the Lord Who has been so generous will not fail to keep His promise. But we must ask Him. We must knock on the door of His heart. Because there is a danger – it is unpleasant, but I have to say it – when a religious Congregation sees that it has no sons and starts to become increasingly small, it becomes attached to money. And you know that money is the dung of the devil. When they cannot have the grace of vocations and sons, they think that money will save their lives, and they think about their old age; that they may not lack this or that. And this is not hope! Hope comes only from the Lord! Money will never give you this".
"I thank you for what you do. Consecrated persons, each one with his or her own charism. And I would like to underline what women religious and nuns do. What would the Church be without nuns? I have said this before: when you go to hospital, to colleges, parishes, neighbourhoods, missions, there are men and women who have given their lives. ...When you go to a cemetery and see the many missionaries and nuns who died at the age of forty, from sicknesses, from the fevers they caught, who burned their lives. These are saints, these are seeds! We must ask the Lord to look to these cemeteries and to see what our antecedents did, and to give us more vocations, because we need them".
|Other Pontifical Acts|
Vatican City, (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed:
- Msgr. Robert Bourgon as bishop of Hearst (area 799, population 139,977, Catholics 138,000, priests 89, permanent deacons 7, religious 104), Canada. The bishop-elect was born in Sudbury, Canada in 1956 and was ordained a priest in 181. He holds a doctorate in canon law and has served in a number of pastoral and administrative roles, including parish vicar, parish priest, judge of the ecclesiastical tribunal and diocesan chancellor. He is currently vicar general of the diocese of Sault Saint Marie. He succeeds Bishop Vincent Cadieux, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
- Msgr. Robert Bourgon, bishop-elect of Hearst, Canada, as apostolic administrator of the diocese of Moosonee, Canada, united in persona episcopi with that of Hearst, under the pastoral care of Bishop Cadieux.
- Archimandrite Manuel Nin, O.S.B., as apostolic exarch for the faithful of Byzantine Rite in Greece (Catholics 6,000, priests 6, religious 11). The bishop-elect was born in El Vendrell, Spain in 1956, gave his religious vows in 1980 and was ordained a priest in 1998. He holds a degree in theology and has served as spiritual father and rector of the Pontifical Greek College, first assistant to the president of the Sublacense Cassinese Congregation. He is currently consultor in the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff and member of the Liturgical Commission of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches. He succeeds Bishop Dimitrios Salachas, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same exarchate in accordance with canons 201 and 1 of the Code of Canons of the Oriental Churches.
- Rev. Christudas Rajappan as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Trivandrum of the Latins (area 686, population 368,000, Catholics 261,220, priests 230, religious 891). The bishop-elect was born in 1971 in India and was ordained in 1998. He holds a doctorate in missiology from the Pontifical Urbanian University, and has served as parish administrator, director of the KCYM in Trivandrum, chaplain of the Catholic Hostel, and spiritual director and professor at St. Joseph's Pontifical Seminary in Alwaye. He is currently rector of St. Vincent's Seminary in Menankulam, director of the Board of Clergy and Religious, and pastor of the St. Thomas Aquinas parish in Kochuthura.
O ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of mercy, health of the sick, refuge of sinners,
comfort of the afflicted, thou knowest my wants, my troubles, my sufferings.
Deign to cast upon me a look of mercy. By appearing in the Grotto of Lourdes,
thou wert pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary, whence thou dispenses thy favors,
and already many sufferers have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and corporal.
I come, therefore, with unbounded confidence, to implore thy maternal intercession.
Obtain, O loving Mother, the granting of my requests.
(make your request)
I will endeavor to imitate thy virtues, that I may one day share thy glory, and bless thee in eternity. Amen.
O MARY, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.
O BLESSED be the Holy and Immaculate Conception of the most blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God.
HOLY Virgin Mary Immaculate, Mother of God and our Mother,
speak thou for us to the Heart of Jesus, Who is thy Son.
OUR Lady of Lourdes, pray for us!