July 5, 2010

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

The following, in it's entirety, is a copyrighted transcript of the Vatican Information Service.

SUMMARY OF POPE'S PASTORAL VISIT TO SULMONA, ITALY: 4 JULY

OTHER NEWS: 3 - 5 JULY


INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR SILENCE TO PERCEIVE THE VOICE OF GOD

VATICAN CITY, 4 JUL 2010 (VIS) - Benedict XVI today made a pastoral visit to the town of Sulmona, in the Italian region of Abruzzo, to mark the eighth centenary of the birth of St. Celestine V, the hermit Pope.

  At 10 a.m. he presided at a Eucharistic concelebration in the town's Piazza Garibaldi, attended by some 25,000 faithful.

  The Holy Father began his homily with a reference to the difficulties the local people have to face every day, giving them assurances of his "closeness and recollection in prayer", especially for "those who live their lives in precarious situations due to a lack of work, uncertainty over the future, and with physical and moral suffering and a sense of loss due to the earthquake of 6 April 2009".

  Speaking then of Celestine V, known as Pietro da Morrone because he lived in seclusion on a mountain of that name until his election as Pope in 1294, the Holy Father highlighted how "he abides in history, ... above all for his sanctity. Sanctity, indeed, never loses its power of attraction, it does not fall into oblivion, it never goes out of fashion; rather, with the passing of time it becomes ever brighter, expressing man's perennial striving after God".

  This saint was, "from his youth, a 'seeker after God', a man who wished to find answers to the great questions of existence: Who am I? Where do I come from? Why am I alive? For whom do I live? ... In exterior silence, but above all in interior silence, he managed to perceive the voice of God which was able to guide his life".

  In this context, the Holy Father noted how "we live in a society in which every space, every moment must be 'filled' with initiatives, activities, sounds. Often there is not even time to listen or to converse. Dear brothers and sisters, let us not be afraid to create silence inside and outside ourselves if we wish to be capable not only of hearing the voice of God, but also the voice of those near us, the voice of our fellow man".

  Another element of St. Celestine's life was his recognition of the work of Grace. "What he had and what he was did not come from him, it was given to him. It was the work of Grace and, therefore, constituted a responsibility before God and before others".

  "God anticipates us always. Each individual life contains good and beautiful things that we can easily recognise as His Grace. ... If we learn to recognise God in His infinite goodness then we will be able to see, with wonder, the signs of God in our lives, just as the saints did". The signs of a God "Who is always close, Who is always good to us, Who says: 'Have faith in me'".

  "The cross", said Benedict XVI, "was the focal point of Pietro da Morrone's life, it gave him the strength to face harsh penance and the most difficult moments, from his youth until his final hour. ... When he was elected to the See of the Apostle Peter he chose to grant a special indulgence called 'La Perdonanza'".

  Pope Celestine, "though leading a hermit's life, was not 'closed in on himself', but was seized with the passion to carry the good news of the Gospel to his brothers and sisters", said the Holy Father.

  The Church's mission, he explained, consists "in the calm, clear and courageous announcement of the evangelical message - even in moments of persecution - without surrendering to the lure of fashion, or of violence and imposition". It consists "in detachment from concern for things (money or clothes), trusting in the Providence of the Father; in particular attention and concern towards those sick in body or in spirit".

  At the end of Mass and before praying the Angelus, the Holy Father entrusted the local Church to the Virgin Mary, venerated in Sulmona at the shrine of the "Madonna della Libera". He said: "May you walk united and joyful in the way of faith, hope and charity. Faithful to the heritage of St. Celestine V, always combine evangelical radicalism with mercy, so that all those who seek God may find Him.

  "In Mary, Virgin of silence and of listening, St, Peter da Morrone found the perfect model of obedience to divine will, in his simple and humble life directed at the search for what is truly essential", the Pope added.

  "We too, who live in an age of greater comfort and of more possibilities, are called to appreciate a sober lifestyle, to keep our minds and hearts free in order to share our goods with our brothers and sisters".

  After praying the Angelus, the Pope went to the House for Clergy at the diocesan pastoral centre of Sulmona where he had lunch with bishops of the Abruzzo region. The House for Clergy, built to accommodate sick and elderly priests, was inaugurated today following restoration work and is dedicated to Benedict XVI.

 

PRAYER IS NEVER DETACHED FROM REALITY

VATICAN CITY, 4 JUL 2010 (VIS) - Today at 4.30 p.m., before leaving the House for Clergy in Sulmona, the Holy Father greeted members of the committee that had organised his visit to that Italian town. He subsequently received a delegation from the nearby high-security prison made up of the director, chaplains, warders and a number of prisoners.

  Benedict XVI then travelled to the cathedral for a meeting with local youth. On arrival he paused for a few moments of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament then, following some words of greeting from Bishop Angelo Spina of Sulmona-Valva, addressed the young people gathered in the building.

  The Pope began by praising their "historical memory", evident in their belief that Celestine V is a figure who still retains all his relevance today. "Without memory", said the Holy Father, "there is no future. It used to be said that history is a teacher of life, but consumer culture tends to limit man to the present, to make him lose his sense of the past, of history. But by so doing, it also deprives him of the capacity to understand himself, to perceive problems and build the future. Therefore, dear young people, I wish to tell you that a Christian is someone who has a good memory, who loves history and seeks to understand it".

  Reflecting then on how to evaluate Pietro da Morrone's life today in the twenty-first century, the Pope highlighted how certain things are perennial and enduring, "for example the capacity to listen to God in exterior silence, and above all in interior silence. ... It is important to learn how to experience moments of interior silence in our daily lives in order to be capable of hearing the voice of the Lord", he said.

  "Be sure that if someone learns to listen to this voice and to follow it with generosity, he is afraid of nothing, he knows and feels that God is with him. ... The secret of vocation lies in the relationship with God, in prayer. ... And this remains true both before making the choice - in other words, at the moment of deciding to start on the journey - and afterwards, if we wish to be faithful and persevere. St. Celestine V was first and foremost... a man of prayer, a man of God".

  But "authentic prayer is not detached from reality. If prayer alienates you, removes you from real life, be aware that it is not authentic prayer. ... It is not a question of simply multiplying the number of words", the Pope explained, "but of being in God's presence, making the expressions of the 'Our Father' present in our minds and our hearts, or adoring the Eucharist, ... or meditating on the Gospel, ... or participating in the liturgy. All this does not detach us from life; rather, it helps us truly to be ourselves in all environments, faithful to the voice of God which speaks to our conscience, free from the conditioning of the present moment".

  "Faith and prayer do not resolve problems, but enable them to be faced with a new light and a new strength, in a manner worthy of man, more serenely and more effectively. If we look at the history of the Church we see that it is rich in saints and blesseds who, on the basis of an intense and constant dialogue with God, illuminated by faith, were able to find creative and novel solutions to respond to the concrete human needs of all times: health, education, work, etc. Their resourcefulness was animated by the Holy Spirit and by a strong and generous love for their brothers and sisters, especially the weakest and most disadvantaged.

  "Dear young people", the Pope added, "allow yourselves to be conquered by Christ. Start decisively down the path of sanctity, the path (which is open to everyone) of contact with and conformity to God. Thus you too will become more creative in seeking solutions to the problems you encounter and in seeking them together; for this is another distinctive sign of Christians: they are never individualists".

  In this context, Benedict XVI explained that by choosing the hermit life Pietro da Morrone's was not fleeing responsibility because, "in the experiences approved by the Church, the solitary life of prayer and penance is always at the service of the community, it is open to others, it never contrasts with the needs of the community. Hermitages and monasteries are oases and wellsprings of spiritual life from which everyone can draw. The monk lives not for himself, but for others. It is for the good of the Church and society that he cultivates the contemplative life, that the Church and society may be ever irrigated with new energies, with the action of the Lord".

  The Pope concluded by telling the young people to "love the Church: she gave you the faith, she brought you to know Christ. ... Conserve your enthusiasm, your joy, the joy that comes from having met the Lord, and communicate this to your friends and peers. ... In you, I feel, the Church is young. ... Walk in the way of the Gospel; love the Church our mother: be simple and pure of heart; be mild and strong in the truth; be humble and generous".

  At the end of the meeting the Pope descended to the crypt where he venerated the relics of St. Panfilo and St. Celestine V. He then travelled to the nearby Pallozzi Stadium where he bid farewell to the authorities and, at 5.45 p.m., departed by helicopter for the Vatican.

 

POPE INAUGURATES A FOUNTAIN DEDICATED TO HIS PATRON

VATICAN CITY, 5 JUL 2010 (VIS) - In the Vatican Gardens at 11.30 a.m. today Benedict XVI inaugurated a new fountain dedicated to St. Joseph. The fountain was commissioned by the Governorate of Vatican City State as a homage to the Pope's given name.

  The fountain has two basins, one six metres wide and the other eight, with a palm between them. It is adorned with six bronze panels by the Italian artist Franco Murer depicting the marriage of St. Joseph and the Virgin, Joseph's dream, the birth of Jesus, the Flight into Egypt, finding Jesus in the Temple, and the work of the family in Nazareth.

  "By trusting in God, Joseph agrees to and co-operates in the plan of salvation", said the Pope. "Of course, divine intervention in his life could not but trouble his heart. Entrusting oneself to God does not mean acting entirely clearly according to our criteria; entrusting oneself to God means emptying oneself, renouncing oneself, because only those who agree to lose themselves for God can be 'just' like St. Joseph; that is, they can conform their will to that of God and thus achieve fulfilment.

  "The Gospel has not conserved any words of Joseph, who accomplishes his work in silence. This is the style that characterised his entire life, both before facing the mystery of God's action in his bride, and when, aware of the mystery, he was at Mary's side during the Nativity".

  "This beautiful fountain dedicated to St. Joseph represents a symbolic reminder of the values of simplicity and humility in accomplishing God's will every day, values which characterised the silent but invaluable life of the Custodian of the Redeemer. I entrust the Church and the world to his intercession. Together with the Virgin Marty, his bride, may he always guide my journey and yours, that we may become joyful instruments of peace and salvation".

 

BENEDICT XVI TO VISIT UNITED KINGDOM FROM 16 TO 19 SEPTEMBER

VATICAN CITY, 5 JUL 2010 (VIS) - Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. released the following declaration at midday today:

  "Accepting the invitation of Her Majesty Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom, and of the Bishops' Conferences of England and Wales, and of Scotland, His Holiness Benedict XVI will make an apostolic trip to the United Kingdom from 16 to 19 September.

  "In the course of his trip, the Holy Father will visit Her Majesty the Queen at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, and preside at the celebration of the Eucharist in Bellahouston Park in Glasgow. In London he will meet representatives from the worlds of politics, culture and business in Westminster Hall, participate at an ecumenical celebration in Westminster Abbey, and preside at a celebration of the Eucharist in Westminster Cathedral and at a prayer vigil in Hyde Park. Finally, he will preside at the celebration of the rite of beatification of Venerable Cardinal John Henry Newman at Cofton Park, Birmingham".

 

AUDIENCES

VATICAN CITY, 5 JUL 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. accompanied by other priests celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of their ordination.

 - Ivan Rebernik, ambassador of Slovenia, on his farewell visit.

  On Saturday 3 July he received in separate audiences:

 - Cardinal Ivan Dias, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples.

 - Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops.

 - Archbishop Jozef Kowalczyk of Gniezno, Poland.

 - Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

 

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

VATICAN CITY, 5 JUL 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:

 - Dr. Patrizio Polisca, as director for healthcare and hygiene of the Governorate of Vatican City State.

- Giovanni Rocchi as a counsellor of Vatican City State.

Local site Links: