October 1, 2006 to October 29, 2006



On the Rosary and Missions

"Take the Love of God to All"
 CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, OCT. 1, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI gave today before reciting the midday Angelus with crowds at the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo.

 Dear Brothers and Sisters:  

Today, the first day of October, I would like to reflect on two aspects that characterize this month in the ecclesial community: the praying of the rosary and commitment to the missions. Next Saturday, Oct. 7, we celebrate the feast of the Virgin of the Rosary; it is as if every year Our Lady invited us to rediscover the beauty of this prayer, so simple and profound.

 Our beloved Pope John Paul II was a great apostle of the rosary: We remember him kneeling with the beads in his hands, immersed in the contemplation of Christ, as he himself invited us to do with the Apostolic Letter "Rosarium Virginis Mariae."

 The rosary is a contemplative and christocentric prayer, inseparable from the meditation of sacred Scripture. It is the prayer of the Christian who advances in the pilgrimage of faith, in the following of Jesus, preceded by Mary. I would like to invite you, dear brothers and sisters, to pray the rosary as a family during this month, and in communities and parishes, for the intentions of the Pope, for the mission of the Church and for peace in the world.  

… May Mary most holy, virgin of the rosary and queen of the missions, lead us all to Christ our savior.

 [After praying the Angelus, the Holy Father greeted pilgrims in several languages. In English, he said:]

 … In this month of October, dedicated to the Holy Rosary, we ponder with Mary the mysteries of our salvation, and we ask the Lord to help us grow in our understanding of the marvelous things he has done for us. May God fill you with his love and may he bestow upon all those dear to you his blessings of joy and peace.

 Papal Message Calls Mary Teacher of the Faith
Sends Greetings to Marian Congress
 VATICAN CITY, OCT. 2, 2006 (Zenit.org).- When it comes to teaching others about Christ, Mary's example is one to follow, says Benedict XVI.

 In a message sent on his behalf by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican secretary of state, to the Latin American Meeting on Marian Pastoral Care, the Pope underlined the capacity of the mother of Jesus "to attract, guide and animate all those who wish to know" her son.

 The congress, which was held near Mexico City, was in preparation of the 5th General Conference of the Latin American Episcopate, which Benedict XVI plans to attend in Aparecida, Brazil, in May 2007.

 Speaking Friday at the Basilica of Guadalupe, Cardinal Bertone communicated the Pope's hope that the meeting would result "in a more profound awareness of what it means to be true disciples of Christ and witnesses of his Gospel."

 The message also referred to the extraordinary Marian devotion that characterizes the faith of Latin Americans, which has been manifested throughout the centuries in art.

 "Mary has guided and continues to guide all her children to Jesus, as she did at the wedding of Cana when she said to the dejected servants: 'Do whatever he tells you'" (John 2:5)," said the papal message.

 "Hers is a teaching of the faith in Christ permeated with gentleness, profound knowledge of Jesus and human nature, as well as of her own most particular mission in the divine plan of salvation," said Benedict XVI.

The message continues by calling Mary the "'Star of the New Evangelization' because of her capacity to attract, guide and animate all those who wish to know Jesus and be faithful disciples of his in the task of making the kingdom of God grow."

 Vatican City, October 7, 2006 - Addressing Polish pilgrims.

As John Paul II wrote, 'with the Rosary, Christian people join Mary's school and allow themselves to be introduced to the contemplation of the beauty of Christ's countenance and to the experience of the profundity of His love.' May this prayer be a source of abundant grace for everyone.

Jesus' Words on Marriage
Vatican City, October 8, 2006
- Conclusion of the address before reciting the midday Angelus.

I invoke the maternal protection of the Virgin and of Joseph her spouse on all families, especially those going through difficulties. Mary, Queen of the Family, pray for us!

[At the end of the Angelus, the Pope greeted pilgrims in several languages. In English, he said:]

Throughout this month of October we remember in a special way Our Blessed Lady. We ask for her prayers for our loved ones and for ourselves.

Benedict XVI Talks of John Paul I's Smile
Links It to His Trust in Mary
 VATICAN CITY, OCT. 9, 2006 (Zenit.org).- John Paul I passed into history as "the Pope of the smile" -- and Benedict XVI thinks he knows why.

 After watching a film on John Paul I on Sunday, Benedict XVI said that the secret of the Italian Pope's smile was his trust in the Virgin Mary, which gave him serenity and fostered his commitment to fraternity. … Finally, Benedict XVI added that in love and trust in the Blessed Virgin is found the secret of the "daily serenity and concrete commitment to peace in the world," which characterized John Paul I.

Pope's Address at Screening of Film on John Paul I
"Teacher of Truth and Passionate Catechist"
VATICAN CITY, OCT. 9, 2006 - Conclusion of the address Benedict XVI gave Sunday afternoon, after watching the premiere of the film "Pope Luciani: The Smile of God."

… Finally, I gladly recall the devotion he felt for the Virgin. When he was patriarch of Venice he wrote: "It is impossible to conceive our life, the life of the Church, without the rosary, without the Marian feasts, without the Marian shrines and without the Virgin's images." It is beautiful to accept your invitation and to find, as he did, in the fact of placing himself humbly in Mary's hands, the secret of daily serenity and concrete commitment to peace in the world.

Pope's Homily at Oct. 15 Canonization Mass

Homily for four newly canonized saints: Rafael Guízar Valencia, Filippo Smaldone, Rosa Venerini and Théodore Guérin.  May Mary, Queen of the Saints, raise up among the Christian people, men and women like St Rafael Guízar y Valencia, St Filippo Smaldone, St Rose Venerini and St Théodore Guérin, ready to abandon all for the Kingdom of God; disposed to make their own the logic of gift and service, the only one that saves the world. Amen.

Pope's October 19 Homily in Verona

during his pastoral visit on the occasion of the national congress of the Church in Italy.

We know well that this [to witness to a converted and forgiven life] is not possible without being "clothed with power from on high" (Lk 24:49), without the interior strength of the Spirit of the Risen One. To receive it, as Jesus told his disciples, one must not leave Jerusalem but must remain in the "city" where the mystery of salvation is consummated, the supreme act of love of God for humanity. One must remain in prayer with Mary, the Mother given to us by Christ from the Cross

Closing of Pope's Address at Lateran University on Oct. 21

With these sentiments, while I ask the Lord to effuse in this place the abundance of his light, I entrust the itinerary of this Academic Year to the protection of the Most Holy Virgin, and to all I heartily impart the Apostolic Blessing.

Conclusion of the Angelus Address on Mission Sunday
Vatican City, October 22, 2006

May Mary Most Holy help us to live with new drive, each one in the situation in which Providence has placed him, the joy and courage of the mission.

Conclusion of Pope's October 23 Address to University Students at St. Peter’s Basilica
I entrust these, my wishes, to the maternal intercession of Mary Most Holy, Seat of Wisdom. May she accompany you throughout this new year of study and grant your longings and hopes. With affection I impart to each one of you and to your study circles, as also to your dear ones, a special Apostolic Blessing.

On Bartimaeus' Encounter With Christ
Angelus Address October 29, 2006

We invoke the intercession of the Virgin Mary so that missionaries of the Gospel will multiply. Intimately united to the Lord, may every baptized person hear that he is called to proclaim the love of God to all, with the testimony of his own life.

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 29, 2006 - After the midday Angelus Benedict XVI announced that he will attend the meeting of young Italian Catholics next September in the city of Loreto.

Dear friends, I bless your journey and I await you in large numbers in the great meeting of youth have planned for Sept. 1 and 2 of 2007 in Loreto. In that cherished Marian shrine we will live together a moment of grace, in the joy of the faith and in the perspective of the mission, also in preparation for the World Youth Day in Sydney in 2008.

Papal Homily at Marian House in Ephesus
"Christ Is Grace; Christ Is Peace" - Ephesus, Turkey, November 29, 2006

 Dear Brothers and Sisters,  

In this Eucharistic celebration we praise the Lord for Mary's divine motherhood, a mystery solemnly confessed and proclaimed in Ephesus at the Ecumenical Council of 431. To this place, so dear to the Christian community, my venerable predecessors the Servants of God Paul VI and John Paul II came as pilgrims; the latter visited this Shrine on 30 November 1979, just over a year after the beginning of his Pontificate. Another of my Predecessors was in this country not as Pope, but as the Papal Representative, from January 1935 to December 1944, Blessed John XXIII, Angelo Roncalli, whose memory still enkindles great devotion and affection. He very much esteemed and admired the Turkish people. Here I would like to quote an entry in his Journal of a Soul: "I love the Turks; I appreciate the natural qualities of these people who have their own place reserved in the march of civilization" (pp. 233-4). He also left to the Church and the world the legacy of his Christian optimism, rooted in deep faith and constant union with God. In that same spirit, I turn to this nation and, in a special way, to the "little flock" of Christ living in its midst, in order to offer a word of encouragement and to manifest the affection of the whole Church. With great love I greet all of you here present, the faithful of Izmir, Mersin, Iskenderun and Antakia, and others from different parts of the world, as well as those who could not take part in this celebration but are spiritually united with us. I greet in particular Archbishop Ruggero Franceschini of Izmir, Archbishop Giuseppe Bernardini, Archbishop emeritus of Izmir, Bishop Luigi Padovese, the priests and the religious. Thank you for your presence, your witness and your service to the Church in this blessed land where, at its very beginnings, the Christian community experienced great growth, a fact reflected in the numerous pilgrimages made to Turkey to this day.  

Mother of God -- Mother of the Church

 We have listened to a passage from Saint John's Gospel which invites us to contemplate the moment of the Redemption when Mary, united to her Son in the offering of his sacrifice, extended her motherhood to all men and women, and in particular to the disciples of Jesus. A privileged witness to that event was the author of the Fourth Gospel, John, the only one of the Apostles to remain at Golgotha with the Mother of Jesus and the other women. Mary's motherhood, which began with her fiat in Nazareth, is fulfilled at the foot of the Cross. Although it is true -- as Saint Anselm says -- that "from the moment of her fiat Mary began to carry all of us in her womb", the maternal vocation and mission of the Virgin towards those who believe in Christ actually began when Jesus said to her: "Woman, behold your son!" (Jn 19:26). Looking down from the Cross at his Mother and the beloved disciple by her side, the dying Christ recognized the first fruits of the family which he had come to form in the world, the beginning of the Church and the new humanity. For this reason, he addressed Mary as "Woman", not as "Mother", the term which he was to use in entrusting her to his disciple: "Behold your Mother!" (Jn 19:27). The Son of God thus fulfilled his mission: born of the Virgin in order to share our human condition in everything but sin, at his return to the Father he left behind in the world the sacrament of the unity of the human race (cf. "Lumen Gentium," 1): the family "brought into unity from the unity of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit" (Saint Cyprian, "De Orat. Dom.," 23: PL 4, 536), at whose heart is this new bond between the Mother and the disciple. Mary's divine motherhood and her ecclesial motherhood are thus inseparably united.

 Mother of God -- Mother of Unity

The first reading presented what could be called the "Gospel" of the Apostle of the Gentiles: all men and women, including the pagans, are called in Christ to share fully in the mystery of salvation. The text also contains the expression that I have chosen as the motto for my Apostolic Journey: "He, Christ, is our peace" (Eph 2:14). Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Paul tells us that Jesus Christ has not only brought us peace, but that he is our peace. And he justifies this statement by referring to the mystery of the Cross: by shedding "his blood", by offering in sacrifice "his flesh", Jesus destroyed hostility "in himself" and created "in himself one new man in place of the two" (Eph 2:14-16). The Apostle explains how, in a truly unforeseen way, messianic peace has now come about in Christ's own person and his saving mystery. He explains it by writing, during his imprisonment, to the Christian community which lived here, in Ephesus: "to the saints who are in Ephesus and are faithful in Christ Jesus" (Eph 1:1), as he says in the salutation of the Letter. The Apostle wishes them "grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ" (Eph 1:2). Grace is the power that transforms man and the world; peace is the mature fruit of this transformation. Christ is grace; Christ is peace. Paul knows that he has been sent to proclaim a "mystery", a divine plan that only in the fullness of time has been carried out and revealed in Christ: namely, that "the Gentiles have become fellow heirs, members of the same body, and sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus through the Gospel" (Eph 3:6). This mystery is accomplished, in salvation history, in the Church, the new People in which, now that the old dividing wall has been broken down, Jews and pagans find themselves united. Like Christ himself, the Church is not only the instrument of unity, but also its efficacious sign. And the Virgin Mary, the Mother of Christ and of the Church, is the Mother of that mystery of unity which Christ and the Church inseparably signify and build up, in the world and throughout history.

Let us implore peace for Jerusalem and the whole world

The Apostle of the Gentiles says that Christ "has made us both one" (Eph 2:14): these words properly refer to the relationship between Jews and Gentiles in the mystery of eternal salvation, yet they can also extend, by analogy, to the relationship between the peoples and civilizations present in the world. Christ "came to proclaim peace" (Eph 2:17), not only between Jews and non-Jews, but between all nations, since all have their origin in the same God, the one Creator and Lord of the universe. Strengthened by God's word, from here in Ephesus, a city blessed by the presence of Mary Most Holy -- who we know is loved and venerated also by Muslims -- let us lift up to the Lord a special prayer for peace between peoples. From this edge of the Anatolian peninsula, a natural bridge between continents, let us implore peace and reconciliation, above all for those dwelling in the Land called "Holy" and considered as such by Christians, Jews and Muslims alike: it is the land of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, destined to be the home of a people that would become a blessing for all the nations (cf. Gen 12:1-3). Peace for all of humanity! May Isaiah's prophecy soon be fulfilled: "They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more" (Is 2:4). We all need this universal peace; and the Church is called to be not only the prophetic herald, but even more, the "sign and instrument" of this peace. Against the backdrop of universal peace, the yearning for full communion and concord between all Christians becomes even more profound and intense. Present at today's celebration are Catholic faithful of various rites, and this is a reason for joyful praise of God. These rites, when they converge in unity and common witness, are an expression of that marvelous variety which adorns the Bride of Christ. In this regard, the unity of the Ordinaries of the Episcopal Conference in fellowship and the sharing of pastoral efforts must set an example.


In today's liturgy we have repeated, as the refrain of the Responsorial Psalm, the song of praise proclaimed by the Virgin of Nazareth on meeting her elderly kinswoman Elizabeth (cf. Lk 1:39). Our hearts too were consoled by the words of the Psalmist: "steadfast love and faithfulness will meet, righteousness and peace will kiss" (Ps 85:10). Dear brothers and sisters, in this visit I have wanted to convey my personal love and spiritual closeness, together with that of the universal Church, to the Christian community here in Turkey, a small minority which faces many challenges and difficulties daily. With firm trust let us sing, together with Mary, a magnificat of praise and thanksgiving to God who has looked with favor upon the lowliness of his servant (cf. Lk 1:48). Let us sing joyfully, even when we are tested by difficulties and dangers, as we have learned from the fine witness given by the Roman priest Don Andrea Santoro, whom I am pleased to recall in this celebration. Mary teaches us that the source of our joy and our one sure support is Christ, and she repeats his words: "Do not be afraid" (Mk 6:50), "I am with you" (Mt 28:20). Mary, Mother of the Church, accompany us always on our way! Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us! "Aziz Meryem Mesih'in Annesi bizim için Dua et." Amen.

[Translation of Italian original issued by the Holy See]

Papal Address to Turkey's Religious Affairs Director
Ankara, Turkey, November 28, 2006

 Your country is very dear to Christians: many of the earliest Church communities were founded here and grew to maturity, inspired by the preaching of the Apostles, particularly Saint Paul and Saint John. The tradition has come down to us that Mary, the Mother of Jesus, lived at Ephesus, in the home of the Apostle Saint John.


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