LENT: TIME OF THE GOODNESS OF THE LORD
VATICAN CITY, 3 APR 2011 (VIS REPORTS) - At noon today the Holy Father appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square. (RADIO VATICANA REPORT)
"The Lenten path we are following is a time of particular grace, in which we may experience the Lord's grace toward us. This Sunday's liturgy... invites us to be glad and to rejoice", the Holy Father said.
He explained that the reason for this joy is related in the Gospel, in which Jesus cures a man blind since birth and asks him, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?". The blind man recognises the sign given by Jesus and passes from receiving the light in his eyes to the light of the faith: "Lord, I believe". This shows how a simple and sincere person may gradually undertake a path to faith: he first encounters Jesus as a "man" among others, then considers Him a "prophet", then finally opens his eyes and proclaims Him "Lord".
"We too, because of Adam's sin, are born 'blind', but at the baptismal font we are illuminated by Christ's grace", continued the Holy Father. "Sin brought harm to humanity, condemning it to obscurity and death, but the newness of life and the true end to which we are called are resplendent in Christ. In Him, reinvigorated by the Holy Spirit, we receive the strength to overcome evil and to do good. In fact, Christian life is a continual conformation to Christ, the image of the new man, in order to reach full communion with God. The Lord Jesus is 'the light of the world', as 'the light of the knowledge of the glory of God' shines in Him, and continues to reveal the meaning of human existence in the complex fabric of history".
Following the Angelus, Benedict XVI recalled that 2 April was the sixth anniversary of the death of John Paul II. "Due to his forthcoming beatification, I have not celebrated the traditional Mass of suffrage for him, but I have remembered him with affection in prayer, as I think you have all done. While, along the Lenten path, we prepare for Easter, we also approach with joy the day on which we will be able to venerate as Blessed this great Pontiff and witness of Christ, and to trust ever more in his intercession".
DECREES OF THE CONGREGATION FOR THE CAUSES OF SAINTS
VATICAN CITY, 2 APR 2011 (VIS) - Today, during a private audience with Cardinal Angelo Amato S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, the Pope authorised the congregation to promulgate the following decrees:
- Venerable Servant of God Serafino Morazzone, Italian diocesan priest (1747-1822).
- Venerable Servant of God Clemente Vismara, Italian professed priest of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (1897-1988).
- Venerable Servant of God Elena Aiello, Italian foundress of the Minim Sisters of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ (1895-1961).
- Venerable Servant of God Maria Catalina Irigoyen Echegaray (Sr. Maria Desposorios), Spanish professed nun of the Congregation of Servants of Mary, Ministers of the Sick (1848-1918).
- Venerable Servant of God Enrica Alfieri (nee Maria Angela), Italian professed nun of the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of St. Jeanne-Antide Thouret (1891-1951).
- Servant of God Peter Adrian Toulorge, French professed priest of the Premonstratensian Regular Canons, killed in hatred of the faith at Coutances, France (1757-1793).
- Servants of God Francisco Esteban Lacal, Spanish professed priest of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, and twenty-one companions, and Candido Castan San Jose, Spanish layman, killed in hatred of the faith in Spain in 1936.
- Servant of God Thomas Kurialacherry, Indian, first bishop of Changanacherry and founder of the Sisters of the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament (1873-1925).
- Servant of God Adolphe Chatillon (Br. Theophanius-Leo), Canadian professed religious of the Brothers of Christian Schools (1871-1929).
- Servant of God Maria Chiara of St. Teresa of the Child Jesus (nee Vincenza Damato), Italian professed nun of the Order of St. Clare (1909-1948).
- Servant of God Maria Dolores Inglese (nee Maria Libera Italia), Italian professed nun of the Congregation of Sisters Servants of Mary Reparatrix (1866-1928).
- Servant of God Irene Stefani (nee Aurelia), Italian professed nun of the Institute of Missionary Sisters of the Consolata (1891-1930).
- Servant of God Bernhard Lehner, German layman (1930-1944).
VATICAN CITY, 2 APR 2011 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office today published the following English-language communique:
"On 1 January 2011, after the Angelus, Pope Benedict XVI announced that he wished to commemorate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the historic meeting that took place in Assisi on 27 October 1986, at the wish of the Venerable Servant of God John Paul II. On the day of the anniversary, 27 October this year, the Holy Father intends to hold a 'Day of reflection, dialogue and prayer for peace and justice in the world', making a pilgrimage to the home of St. Francis and inviting fellow Christians from different denominations, representatives of the world's religious traditions and, in some sense, all men and women of good will, to join him once again on this journey.
"The Day will take as its theme: 'Pilgrims of truth, pilgrims of peace'. Every human being is ultimately a pilgrim in search of truth and goodness. Believers too are constantly journeying towards God: hence the possibility, indeed the necessity, of speaking and entering into dialogue with everyone, believers and unbelievers alike, without sacrificing one's own identity or indulging in forms of syncretism. To the extent that the pilgrimage of truth is authentically lived, it opens the path to dialogue with the other, it excludes no-one and it commits everyone to be a builder of fraternity and peace. These are the elements that the Holy Father wishes to place at the centre of reflection.
"For this reason, as well as representatives of Christian communities and of the principal religious traditions, some figures from the world of culture and science will be invited to share the journey - people who, while not professing to be religious, regard themselves as seekers of the truth and are conscious of a shared responsibility for the cause of justice and peace in this world of ours".
The communique affirms that "the delegations will set off from Rome by train on the morning of 27 October, together with the Holy Father. Upon arrival in Assisi, they will make their way to the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli, where the previous meetings will be recalled and the theme of the Day will be explored in greater depth. Leaders of some of the delegations present will make speeches and the Holy Father will likewise deliver an address".
There will then be a simple lunch, followed by a moment of silence for individual reflection and prayer. Later, all those present in Assisi will make a "pilgrimage" to the Basilica of Saint Francis, "in silence, leaving room for personal meditation and prayer". The final part of the Day will include "a solemn renewal of the joint commitment to peace".
"In preparation for this Day, Pope Benedict XVI will preside over a prayer vigil at St. Peter's the previous evening, together with the faithful of the diocese of Rome. Particular Churches and communities throughout the world are invited to organise similar times of prayer".
The communique concludes by highlighting that "the Pope asks the Catholic faithful to join him in praying for the celebration of this important event and he is grateful to all those who will be able to be present in St. Francis' home town to share this spiritual pilgrimage".
VATICAN CITY, 4 APR 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:
- Cardinal Joachim Meisner, archbishop of Cologne, Germany.
- Msgr. Franz-Josef Overbeck, bishop of Essen, Germany.
- Msgr. Carlo Maria Vigano, secretary general of the Governorate of Vatican City State.
- Msgr. Pauly Kannookadan, bishop of Irinjalakuda of the Syro-Malabars, India, on his ad limina visit, accompanied by the bishop emeritus James Pazhayattil.
- Msgr. Jacob Manathodath, bishop of Palghat of the Syro-Malabars, India, on his ad limina visit.
- Msgr. Paul Alappatt, bishop of Ramanathapuram of the Syro-Malabars, India, on his ad limina visit.
- Msgr. John Vadakel C.M.I., bishop of Bijnor of the Syro-Malabars, India, on his ad limina visit.
- Msgr. Thomas Thuruthimattam C.S.T., bishop of Gorakhpur of the Syro-Malabars, India, on his ad limina visit.
On Saturday 2 April he received in separate audiences:
- Cardinal Angelo Amato S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
- Archbishop Ivan Jurkovic, apostolic nuncio to the Russian Federation.
- Br. Alois, prior of the Community of Taize.
- Rudolf Voderholzer, director of the "Institut Papst Benedikt XVI", Regensburg, Germany.
- Cardinal Mark Ouellet P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
VATICAN CITY, 4 APR 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed William Wright of the clergy of the archdiocese of Sydney, Australia, as Bishop of Maitland-Newcastle (area 33,757, population 648,000, Catholics 157,000, priests 70, permanent deacons 9, religious 236), Australia. The bishop-elect was born in Washington DC, USA in 1952 and ordained a priest in 1977. He succeeds Msgr. Michael John Malone, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.
On Saturday 2 April it was made public that the Holy Father:
- Appointed Msgr. Francois Fonlupt, episcopal vicar of the archdiocese of Clermont, France as Bishop of Rodez (area 8,743, population 273,377, Catholics 260,000, priests 196, permanent deacons 11, religious 807), France. The bishop-elect was born in Allegre, France in 1954, and ordained a priest in 1979. He succeeds Bishop Bellino Ghirard, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- Appointed Archbishop Santos Abril y Castello, vice chamberlain of Holy Roman Church, as a member of the Congregation for Bishops.