November 17, 2010

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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

SUMMARY:


ST. JULIANA OF CORNILLON HELPED TO INSTITUTE CORPUS CHRISTI

VATICAN CITY, 17 NOV 2010 (VIS) - In today's general audience, celebrated in St. Peter's Square, the Pope focused his attention on St. Juliana of Cornillon who contributed to instituting the Feast of Corpus Christi.

  Born in the Belgian city of Liege towards the end of the twelfth century, Juliana was orphaned at the age of five "and entrusted to the care of the Augustinian nuns of the convent-lazaretto of Mont-Cornillon". Later she also took the Augustinian habit and went on to became prioress of the convent.

  The Pope explained how the Belgian saint "possessed great culture, ... and a profound sense of the presence of Christ, which she experienced particularly intensely in the Sacrament of the Eucharist".

  At the age of sixteen she had a vision which convinced her of the need to establish a liturgical feast for Corpus Christi "in which believers would be able to adore the Eucharist so as to augment their faith, increase the practice of virtue and mend the wrongs done to the Blessed Sacrament", said the Holy Father.

  Juliana "confided [her revelation] to two other fervent adorers of the Eucharist " and the three together "formed a kind of 'spiritual alliance' with the intention of glorifying the Blessed Sacrament".

  "It was", Pope Benedict continued his catechesis, "Bishop Robert Thourotte of Liege who, following some initial hesitation, accepted the proposal made by Juliana and her two companions and instituted, for the first time, the Solemnity of Corpus Domini in his diocese. Other bishops later imitated him and established the same feast in the areas under their pastoral care".

  Juliana, said the Pope, "had to suffer the harsh opposition of certain members of the clergy, including the superior upon whom her convent depended. She therefore chose to leave Mont-Cornillon with a number of companions and for ten years, between 1248 and 1258, was accommodated in various houses of Cistercian nuns". At the same time "she zealously continued to spread Eucharistic devotion. She died at Fosses-La-Ville in Belgium in 1258".

  The Holy Father recalled how "in 1264 Urban IV chose to institute the Solemnity of Corpus Domini as a feast for the Universal Church on the Thursday following Pentecost" and, by way of personal example, "himself celebrated the Solemnity of Corpus Domini in Orvieto, the city in which he was then residing". And the cathedral of Orvieto still houses "the famous corporal with traces of the Eucharistic miracle which had befallen at Bolsena the preceding year, 1263".

  "Urban IV asked one of the greats theologians in history, St. Thomas Aquinas who was with the Pope at that time in Orvieto, to write the texts for the liturgical office of this great feast, ... as an expression of praise and gratitude to the Blessed Sacrament".

  "Although following the death of Urban IV the celebration of Corpus Domini was restricted to certain regions of France, Germany, Hungary and northern Italy, in 1317 Pope John XXII reintroduced it for the whole Church".

  "Joyfully I wish to affirm that there is a 'Eucharistic springtime' in the Church today", said the Holy Father. "How many people remain in silence before the Tabernacle sustaining a dialogue of love with Jesus! It is consoling to know that many groups of young people have rediscovered the beauty of prayer and adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. I pray that this 'Eucharistic springtime' may become increasingly widespread in parishes, and especially in Belgium, homeland of St, Juliana".

  "Recalling St. Juliana of Cornillon, let us too renew our faith in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. ... Faithfully encountering the Eucharistic Christ at Sunday Mass is essential for our journey of faith, but let us also seek to visit the Lord frequently, before His presence in the Tabernacle. ... By gazing at Him in adoration the Lord draws us to Him, to His mystery, in order to transform us as He transforms the bread and wine".

 

PAPAL APPEAL FOR ASIA BIBI

VATICAN CITY, 17 NOV 2010 (VIS) - At the end of today's general audience the Holy Father, with reference to the situation of Christians in Pakistan, pronounced the following words:

  "Over these days the international community is, with great concern, following the situation of Christians in Pakistan, who are often victims of violence or discrimination. In particular, I today express my spiritual closeness to Ms Asia Bibi and her family while asking that, as soon as possible, she may be restored to complete freedom. I also pray for people who find themselves in similar situations, that their human dignity and fundamental rights may be fully respected".

  Asia Bibi is a Pakistani Christian who, following a discussion with some Muslim colleagues, was accused by the latter of having pronounced offensive words against the Prophet Mohammed and denounced to the local imam. The imam asked the police to intervene and an investigation began which, a few days later, led to the arrest of Asia Bibi on the accusation of violating code 295 of the penal code, which provides for the death penalty for blasphemy.

 

POPE RECALLS ITALIAN EARTHQUAKE OF 1980

VATICAN CITY, 17 NOV 2010 (VIS) - During his greetings to faithful at the end of his general audience today, the Pope addressed a group of Italian pilgrims from the region of Basilicata, who have come to Rome in the company of their local bishops priests and civil authorities to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of the earthquake that devastated southern Italy in 1980.

  "During that dramatic event", said the Holy Father, "the wounds of which are still deep and open in the minds and hearts of those dear peoples, much generous aid came from many parts of Italy. At the local level, everyone undertook to implement the necessary measures. In particular, I would like to highlight the efforts made by the Church, which was able to offer, as well as material aid, the light of hope of the risen Christ, at a time of distress and darkness. My hope is that today's meeting, as well as the memory of the paternal visit made at that time by Servant of God John Paul II, may revive in Christian people the gift of faith, and the joy of sharing it in the great family of the Church".

 

MASS FOR VICTIMS OF ATTACK AGAINST CATHEDRAL IN BAGHDAD

VATICAN CITY, 17 NOV 2010 (VIS) - In the Vatican Basilica at 5 p.m. on 25 November, at the initiative of the Syrian-Catholic Church in Rome, a Mass will be held in memory of the priests and faithful who died in an attack against their cathedral in the Iraqi capital Baghdad on 31 October, according to a communique published today.

  The Eucharist - which members of the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See have also been invited to attend - will be celebrated by Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.

 

IN MEMORIAM

VATICAN CITY, 17 NOV 2010 (VIS) - The following prelates died in recent weeks:

 - Bishop Petros Hanna Issa al-Harboli of Zaku of the Chaldeans, Iraq, on 3 November at the age of 64.

 - Bishop Nikol Joseph Cauchi, emeritus of Gozo, Malta, on 15 November at the age of 81.

 - Bishop John Jerome Cunneen, emeritus of Christchurch, New Zealand, on 9 November at the age of 78.

 - Bishop Romualdas Kriksciunas, former apostolic administrator of the diocese of Panevezys, Lithuania, on 2 November at the age of 80.

 - Bishop Mateus Feliciano Tomas of Namibe, Angola, on 30 October at the age of 52.

Local site Links: