August 2008

 
 

 

Angelus Address - August 3, 2008   

Now, dear friends, I ask you to join me in a devout and filial commemoration of the Servant of God, Pope Paul VI, the 30th anniversary of whose death we shall be celebrating in a few days. In the last period of the Council, Paul VI wanted to pay a special tribute to the Mother of God and solemnly proclaimed her "Mother of the Church." Let us now address the prayer of the Angelus to her, the Mother of Christ, the Mother of the Church, our Mother.

Angelus Address in Bressanone - August 10, 2008 

Let us pray that in a society where everyone is always in a rush, holidays may be days of true relaxation during which it is possible to carve out times for recollection and prayer that are indispensable in order to rediscover in depth both oneself and others. We ask this through the intercession of Mary Most Holy, Virgin of silence and listening.

Together with our Orthodox brethren, let us pray intensely for these intentions which we confidently entrust to the intercession of Mary Most Holy, Mother of Jesus and of all Christians. 

Angelus Address August 15, 2008 - On the Assumption

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

In the heart of what the Latins called "feriae Augusti," August holiday, from which stems the Italian word "ferragosto" -- the Church celebrates today the Assumption of the Virgin into heaven in soul and body. In the Bible, the last reference to her earthly life is found at the beginning of the book of the Acts of the Apostles, which presents the Virgin Mary gathered in prayer with the disciples in the Cenacle in anticipation of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:14).

Subsequently, a twofold tradition -- in Jerusalem and Ephesus -- attests to her "dormition," as the East says, that is, her "falling asleep" in God. That was the event that preceded her passage from earth to heaven, confessed by the uninterrupted faith of the Church. In the eighth century, for example, John Damascene, great doctor of the Eastern Church, established a direct relation between Mary's "dormition" and Jesus' death, affirming explicitly the truth of her corporal assumption. In a famous homily he wrote: "It was necessary that she who bore the Creator in her womb when he was a baby, should live with him in the tabernacles of heaven" (Second Homily on the Dormition, 14, PG 96, 741 B). As mentioned, this firm conviction of the Church found its crowning in the dogmatic definition of the Assumption, pronounced by my venerated predecessor Pius XII in the year 1950.

As the Second Vatican Council teaches, Mary Most Holy is always situated in the mystery of Christ and of the Church. In this perspective, "the Mother of Jesus, being in heaven, now glorified in body and soul, is the image and first fruits of the Church which will have its fulfillment in the age to come, now shines on the earth as a sign of sure hope and consolation for the people of God, pilgrims until the day when the Lord will return (cf. 2 Peter 3:10)" (Constitution "Lumen Gentium," 68). From paradise Our Lady always continues to watch over her children -- whom Jesus entrusted to her before dying on the cross -- especially in the difficult hours of trial. How many testimonies of her maternal solicitude one sees when visiting shrines dedicated to her! I am thinking especially at this moment of the singular world fortress of life and hope that is Lourdes, where, God willing, I will go in a month to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Marian apparitions that took place there.

Mary assumed into heaven shows us the ultimate end of our earthly pilgrimage. She reminds us that the whole of our being -- spirit, soul and body -- is destined to the fullness of life; that he who lives and dies in the love of God and of his neighbor will be transfigured in the image of the glorious body of the Risen Christ; that the Lord humbles the proud and raises the humble (cf. Luke 1:51-52). Our Lady proclaims this in eternity with the mystery of her Assumption. May you always be praised, O Virgin Mary!

[The Pope said in English:]

I am happy to greet all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present for this Angelus prayer. As we celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, we are invited to raise our eyes to heaven and contemplate Mary, the Mother of Jesus and our Mother. She who on earth believed in God's word is now glorified in body and soul. May Mary's prayers and example guide you always and renew your hearts in faith and hope. May God grant you and your families abundant blessings of peace and joy!

General Audience held at Castel Gandolfo, August 18, 2008 - On Martyrs of Auschwitz 

I can assure each and all of you of my remembrance, especially in the daily celebration of Holy Mass and in the recitation of the holy rosary.

"Ave Maria!" was the last invocation on the lips of St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe while he extended his hand to the one who was killing him by injecting him with carbolic acid. It is moving to see how humble and trusting recourse to Our Lady is always the source of courage and serenity. While we prepare to celebrate the solemnity of the Assumption, which is one of the most cherished Marian feasts of the Christian tradition, let us renew our trust in her who from heaven watches over us with maternal love at every moment. We say this, in fact, in the familiar prayer of the Hail Mary, asking her to pray for us "now and at the hour of our death."

Angelus Address on August 17, 2008

Let us commend the social problems I have mentioned to the maternal intercession of Mary, whom we now invoke by praying the Angelus.

General Audience held at Castel Gandolfo on August  20, 2008 - On the Saints

Every day the Church offers for our consideration one or more saints and blesseds whom we can invoke and imitate. This week, for example, we remember some who are much loved by popular devotion. Yesterday, St. John Eudes who, in face of the rigor of the Jansenists -- we are talking about the 17th century -- promoted a tender devotion, whose inextinguishable sources, he indicated, are in the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

Today we remember Bernard of Clairvaux, whom Pope Pius VIII called "mellifluous doctor" because he was outstanding in "distilling from the biblical texts the meaning hidden in them." ... He has also been described as "Marian doctor," not because he wrote very much on the Mother of God, but because he was able to understand her essential role in the Church, presenting her as the perfect model of monastic life and of every form of Christian life.

Next Friday will be dedicated to the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary, memorial instituted by the Servant of God Pius XII in 1955, and which the liturgical renewal, desired by Vatican Council II, established as complement to the festivity of the Assumption, given that both privileges form only one mystery.

Dear brothers and sisters, day after day the Church offers us the possibility to walk in company of the saints. How important and advantageous, therefore, is the determination to cultivate the knowledge and devotion of the saints, together with the daily meditation of the word of God and filial love for the Virgin!  May Mary, Queen of all Saints, Mother and refuge of sinners obtain this grace for us!

Angelus Address on August 24, 2008 in Castel Gandolfo - On the Pope's Mission

I ask you dear brothers and sisters to support me with your prayer, so that, faithful to Christ, together we can announce and bear witness to his presence in our time. May Mary, whom we confidently invoke as Mother of the Church and Star of Evangelization, obtain this grace for us.

Let us transform these thoughts and these desires into prayer, so that all the members of the international community and those, in particular, who have been given great responsibility, will work with generosity to re-establish the superior motivations of justice and peace. Mary, Queen of peace, intercede for us!

Message for World Refugee and Migrant Day

"St. Paul Migrant, 'Apostle of the Peoples'"

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 9, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Here is the message Benedict XVI wrote for the 95th World Day of Migrants and Refugees, to be held Jan. 18, 2009. The Vatican released the message Wednesday.

May the Apostle Paul and especially Mary, the Mother of acceptance and love, obtain this gift for us. As I invoke the divine protection upon all those who are dedicated to helping migrants, and more generally, in the vast world of migration, I assure each one of my constant remembrance in prayer and, with affection, I impart my apostolic Blessing to all.

From Castel Gandolfo, 24 August 2008

BENEDICTUS PP. XVI

 
     
     
 

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